Just you wait…

To the mama-to-be…these are my thoughts for you as you stand on the edge of a new season…

“Just you wait.” Have you heard that phrase before…or a million times…since you’ve been pregnant? Chances are, no sooner did you receive that exhilarating news of a wee one to be…you heard that phrase for the first time. Just a guess…but I bet it was a bit deflating. Let me give you a little window in to my desire to redefine that phrase for you…for me…for mamas…

There are some days that I just feel like a rookie at this mothering gig. I remember the first time I took Will to the grocery. He was 11 months old. Insert laughs and looks of astonishment here. For 11 months, it just always worked out for me to go on my own. Maybe I was inspired by my new Amazon purchase of a shopping cart baby cover…but at 11 months, we went to the grocery. As I lined the Tom Thumb basket in a pattered, fabric, plush cover, I proudly plopped Will into his little throne. As I strolled up and down the aisles, I laughed at myself. Another mom walked by—her toddler plopped down on the cold, germy basket seat. I instantly felt like I had a giant “I’m a first time mom” sign blinking over my head. Only first time moms would think this plush gig is a good idea. But I still stand by my original thought—Will looked adorable and he remained (mostly) germ free. I count this a giant win.

Here’s my point. There have been so many times on my journey with a baby when I have “felt” like a new mama. For better or worse—my days and nights have been filled with firsts because of my joyful new title of “Mama.” I wouldn’t trade a single one. I have never been more dependent on…or more upheld by…the Lord.

My mothering rant is this: too many seasoned moms (and other well-meaning people) use the phrase “just you wait…” when referring to the coming seasons of motherhood. I know that most of the time, the person is well meaning and certainly not ill meaning, but the repercussion of this tiny phrase is far reaching. It’s like this…

Just you wait…until he “wakes” up when you get home from the hospital (they don’t put the batteries in until you leave)
Just you wait…until you haven’t had a full night’s sleep in months…
Just you wait…until you have to “cry it out”…

Just you wait…until he’s two years old…
Just you wait…until you have two kids (undertone meaning: you aren’t a real mother with just one) Just you wait…

That tiny—seemingly insignificant—phrase has deep reaching roots. Not only is it negative and a catalyst for instant anxiety about the road to come—because it is both of those things—but it is also whiney. It’s like a giant undercover complaint—concealed in the mask of mothering wisdom. But perhaps the thing that gives me the most pause is that this tiny statement cheapens the grace of God. His grace is no less significant and no less necessary in this phase today vs. the next tomorrow. His grace is REAL and sustaining today when my baby is barely crawling…and it will be real and sustaining when he’s two years old and throwing a fit. I am desperate today and I will be desperate tomorrow. “Just you wait…” seems like a shot in my hope and confidence that the Lord goes before me. He hems me in, behind and before. I have no need to fear the next phase…His grace is sufficient today and it will be sufficient tomorrow. I have no need to wait.

Mamas to be…Mamas who are…rest in His provision TODAY. Wait with expectation that He will give you what you need for today…and the next chapter, too. Lord give me grace. With great strength for today…and great hope for tomorrow. Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside. Great is Thy faithfulness.

So let’s flip the coin. What if I were to tell you that the best is yet to come? Just you wait…

Just you wait. Can you imagine the first moment you hold your baby girl? It’s even better than you are imagining. It’s breath taking. For the first time, you will look into her tiny face and study her deep, knowing eyes. Until that very moment, she has only been completely known by the Lord, her Creator. The tremendous subtly of that thought will take your breath away. You will study her tiny hands and perfect toes and then meet her eyes again. “Hello. I’m your Mama.” That moment will change you. Forever. Just you wait.

Just you wait. Watching your other half become a Daddy will make you appreciate, respect and adore him more than you know. You probably think that you married a great guy with a soft heart—Just you wait. He will melt into a puddle with that little bundle of pink. You will fall in love with him all over again. Remember how those “just you wait” types told you that you’d never be “just the two of you” again? Date nights are over. Everything will be different. But what if I told you they were wrong. Together, you two will begin a journey as Mama and Daddy. You’ll see the wee hours of the night together…you’ll change diapers together…you’ll collapse on the couch after bedtime together. You will thank the Lord every single day for a man who loves you, your beautiful daughter and His Lord above all. You will be in the beautiful trenches of life next to your best friend. Oh just you wait.

Just you wait. You will stand in awe of the Lord’s grace in ways you can’t begin to comprehend. He is everything you need—in every season, through every long day and sometimes long nights. He is everything. You will rock your baby girl to sleep and marvel at how the Father would give His only son for YOU. You will stare at the baby in your arms and long for her to know saving faith in Jesus. You will sing praises to the Lord for the gift of LIFE. Your journey with this little one will draw you closer to Jesus than ever before. Closer because you need Him. Closer because you long for your daughter to know her need, too. Closer because the goodness of God—and the magnificence of the gospel—will knock you off your feet every single day. Just you wait.

Just you wait. Life with a newborn won’t feel like a sacrifice. A sacrifice indicates that you are giving up more than you are gaining. Oh but sister—you are gaining more than you can comprehend. The things that are different are beautiful. Don’t be tempted to believe the nay-sayers. Life will look different, sure. But the “different” is the best change you can imagine. Just you wait.

Just you wait. The best is yet to come. There is truly nothing better than standing on the edge of something great. Especially when someone down the road tells you how great it is. Wait with great expectation in the Lord. His grace is real and deep and true. Look forward to this journey. Look forward to the great moments and even the hard moments. Nothing comes to you without being sifted through the sovereign hands of a loving God. He gives good gifts to His children—Oh, how this good gift will revolutionize your heart.

Stand on the edge. Look ahead and anticipate. A new dawn is just breaking, a new season beginning. Full of grace. Full of joy. Just you wait.

Simple

He walked a country mile in those tiny boots on Thanksgiving. The pitter-patter, pitter-patter continues but with a little more trot and tumble. Watching the world unfold before a curious toddler’s eyes has done more for my soul than years of study and books.

We spent Thanksgiving day in the pastures of East Texas. Our family farm is nestled a good distance from the highway where the lowing of cattle drowns out any hum of traffic. The pastures are wide and the pine trees tall—“tickling the toes of angels” as my grandmother used to say. I grew up in those pastures. Learning to fish and check bluebird boxes, jump hay bales and gather wildflowers. I learned to recognize a bird by its song and even how to drive in the old family pickup truck. In the country, life happened beautifully and simply for my brothers, sister and me.

There’s something staggering and simple about being away from the buzz of city life. I am grateful that my parents pulled us away and took us to the country on a regular basis. There in the friendly plains of East Texas, I grew up in the same pastures as my grandfather. He’s the best example of a cowboy and a gentleman that I could ever give our son. And he was the first to welcome us to the ranch on Thanksgiving. We spent the day trotting around the country, picking up pine cones and standing in awe of cows and peacocks. I watched Will breathe in the country air and felt myself take a deeper breath as well. Simple. Oh the gift of simplicity!

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, does the practice of simplicity ever cross your mind? There is so much to be done—shopping, baking, wrapping, Christmas programs and holiday parties. The months of November and December are a blur of turkey and tinsel unless we are intentional to stop, slow down, and lean in. I relate to many characters in God’s Word—but none more than Martha, sister of Mary. When I replace Martha’s name with my own in Luke 10, I see a startling resemblance that humbles me every time I read the passage.

Jesus is visiting the sisters’ home, and Mary quickly finds herself listening and learning at the feet of Jesus. Meanwhile, Martha busies herself with making preparations and growing frustrated with her sister’s selfishness. Insert my voice (or yours) here: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me” (Luke 10:40). The kindness of the Lord’s response is convicting to my busy heart. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (vs. 41). ONE thing is necessary. Not the 34 other things on my ever-growing checklist. One. Convicted and grateful for the Lord’s goodness, I set my list aside and sit. I try to remember. I try to simplify. With David I pray, “ONE thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

Sally Lloyd-Jones has a spectacular children’s book that has quickly become one of my year-round favorites. Song of the Stars tells the Christmas story from creation’s perspective. The other day I was reading it with Will when a particular page stopped me in my tracks. Crowded around the Savior’s manger, the animals peer in wonder at the baby King. In brilliant simplicity, Lloyd-Jones writes, “The One who made us has come to live with us.” As I read these words to Will, I paused to soak in the significance of that one, simple statement. I felt a lump in my throat and warm tears hit my cheeks. (Imagine Will as he tried to comprehend his mama’s reaction to a seemingly simple book.) What beauty! What truth! The One who made us has come to live with us. That’s Christmas in one, simple, powerful statement. Praise God!

I have thought about that simple page every day this Christmas season. It’s a staggering reminder to keep things simple. Everything else—the shopping, the planning, the busyness—needs to take a backseat. One thing matters: He who made us, who spun the world together and called the stars by name, has come to live with us. To carry our burdens. To bear our suffering. To give us eternal life.

This Christmas, I invite you to this pursuit of simplicity. Step out of your car or your house or your calendar. Get out of the city limits where the hum of traffic disappears. Turn off the radio. Pick up a children’s book. Open God’s Word. Enjoy the simplicity and overwhelming beauty of Christmas. Simply put: the One who made us has come to live with us.

 

Lord, I want to SEE

Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter. His little march up and down the driveway is like mini parade. He is focused and determined—the perfect combination for a new walker. He pauses to notice a passing car or to reroute his push toy, but then returns to his task. Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter. And then in a moment’s notice, he stops in his tracks. Head tilted towards the sky, his face lights up with excitement as his tiny finger shoots towards the treetops. A plane! He hardly moves as the tiny speck in the sky inches slowly overhead—his finger following as though tracing a line. The plane disappears beyond the rooftop and he looks to me with a proud sense of accomplishment. “Did you see it, mama? Wasn’t it amazing?” he seems to say. And then just like that, he’s back to business. Pitter-patter.

To tell you the truth, I don’t think I have ever noticed a plane flying over our house. We have lived here for three and a half years. Not once, can I recall noticing a plane. As it turns out, our neighborhood is in the shadow of a very well traveled landing route for planes coming into Dallas. I now know that hundreds of planes soar over my head every single day…and close enough to see! It took the wonder of a precocious and very observant toddler to bring this to my attention…over and over and over again, each day. In a beautiful, new way, through Will’s wonder I am learning to see.

In the gospel of Mark, Jesus and his disciples encounter a blind man sitting by the side of the road. Upon hearing the commotion that the Messiah was passing by, the beggar creates a scene, desperate to attract the attention of Jesus. Though many try to silence his persistent cry, the blind man succeeds. Jesus calls him and asks a simple question, “What do you want me to do for you?” The man responds with a simple, faith-filled answer, “Lord, I want to see.” He trusted that Jesus was able to do the impossible—to restore sight to a blind beggar. The Savior shows awesome mercy to a man as simple and desperate as you and me. Miraculously healed. Can you imagine what it must have been like for him to SEE?

I have thought so often of this particular account from Mark 10. A man, physically blind, seeks the thing he desperately needs: sight. Though I don’t know this physical need, I know it as a spiritual need. Daily, I need the Lord’s grace to give me eyes to SEE. To see my sin. To see my Savior. To see other people—their hurts and their needs. To truly and clearly SEE.

An unexpected blessing of being involved in youth ministry is that you can’t help but “revisit” your own high school days. Whether they were glory days or days you’d just assume forget, working with high school or college kids almost forces you to crack open the memory book of days past. In this process, I have found plenty of laughs. But I have also studied components of the “high school Ann” and found myself wishing I had done things differently. I loved high school—I had great friends, a loving family and a resume full of extra-curricular activities. Truthfully, I loved every minute of it. Looking back, I can see that I wasn’t hurting—but I know so, so many of my classmates were. I wish I had known that then. I wish I had seen the hurt…the pain of exclusion…the angst of not fitting in…the struggle of addiction, anxiety and stress. I wish I had seen these things.

As believers, the Lord is gracious to give us new hearts and new eyes to see as He sees. And in his grace, he even gives us windows into our past to trace his faithfulness. As I look back at where I’ve been—and perhaps the ways I wish I had seen things differently—I find myself here, in this day. Oh how I long to SEE! How I long to see God’s glory in creation and in the spectacular and unique way he fashions his children. How I long to see the people who are hurting, broken and desperate. How I long to see the things that break the Father’s heart…and the things that shout his praise. In my day-to-day life, I often live like a horse with blinders on his eyes. I can only see as far as the tip of my nose. God’s grace alone can remove those blinders and give me eyes to see—the wonderful, glorious things that make our hearts sing with praise and the heart breaking things that bring us to our knees before the throne of grace.

It’s no secret—life a toddler will cause you to see things in new ways. Will notices everything—a doodlebug crossing the sidewalk or a freckle on my arm that to his dismay, just won’t come off despite a persistent rub from his tiny finger. He sees this world in an extraordinary, simple way. I beg the Lord daily that his little heart would see his Savior. Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter. LOOK! SEE! A tiny plane flies overhead. Lord, we want to see. Give us eyes to see you.

This Little Light of Mine

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

The morning air was soft and quiet. I tip toed through the sleeping house, determined to make it outside without waking anyone. As I made my way to the door, I peeked out the window. It was early enough to be mistaken for nighttime—the moon was covered by a layer of clouds, blocking any remnants of light. It was a dark, silent morning.

Once downstairs, I quietly made the stroll towards the beach. There was not a soul around and only the accompaniment of lingering crickets in the darkness. Though it was not yet in plain sight, I could hear the bellowing roll of the ocean. It was consistent, powerful and serene—a song that played through my soul like the beating of my heart. My feet met the sand and with a flick of each foot, I left my flip-flops behind as I continued towards the water. Above me the early morning sky fell like a midnight blue blanket. Yet even in such darkness, my heart raced with excitement. I knew what was bound to come.

I found a spot to sit near the surf—far enough to avoid getting wet, but close enough to catch the mist. I waited and waited. Soon, a soft hue of pink caught my eye. It was subtle, but brilliant. Slowly, shades of orange, pink and red began to cut through the darkness. Faster than an instant, the darkness scattered. Daylight was coming and darkness had nowhere to hide. A bright orange sliver appeared on the horizon—blinding, yet captivating. If I blinked, I would miss it. The morning light began to rise higher and faster with each passing moment. As it climbed out of the water and into the sky, I was struck by its warmth. A new day began with a spectacular darkness-defying sunrise.

I wasn’t your typical adolescent. Each summer my family would spend time at our favorite beach retreat off the coast of Florida. Instead of sleeping in late, I set my alarm clock to go off before anyone else was awake. I spent many, many mornings watching the sunrise over the ocean—sometimes from my sandy seat on the beach and other times from the balcony with my journal in hand. Those years were formative for me. I came to know the Lord in earliest hours of the day, before the sun was even up. I became fascinated by the powerful simplicity of light. It shattered darkness—every time. Even the darkest clouds and formidable storms scattered helplessly before the sun’s coming light. It struck me—light is victorious, every single time.

The gospel of John begins with an incredible testimony to the power of light—specifically, the Light of the world, Jesus. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). Even in the bleakest, darkest hour, on the hill of Calgary, darkness could not overcome the light. As a believer, I know this truth—because of Christ, our greatest darkness of sin has been conquered. But do I live as one who knows that truth? I am convicted that I do not regularly live as one who knows that darkness has been defeated once and for all. As with many other things, I am forced to face these questions and my own doubts as I struggle to explain this world to my baby boy.

Will’s new favorite song is This Little Light of Mine. He was fascinated by the glow of a flashlight last week and I playfully began to teach him the song. “Hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m gonna let it shine!” He gives a big belly laugh and claps his hands for more. If only there were video footage of the antics within our home. We perform quite the floorshow with this beloved tune, lights flickering on and off. It is such a simple song—one that I’ve known for as long as I can remember. But as I sing it with Will, I feel a new, deep yearning for him to grasp what it means. And therefore, I grapple with what it means. Oh Lord, how I long for him to know you—how I long for the light of Christ to dwell and SHINE from his young life.

I remember watching the news when Will was just three months old. The mess we had made of God’s perfect creation disheartened me. Parts of the world were exploding with anger and war and pain. As I watched my baby asleep close by—his little chest rising and falling, as steady as the tide—I almost felt the need to apologize to him. What kind of world had we created? I was saddened by the darkness of our society and sorry for the state of the world. Then light broke through. I leaned over and whispered what I knew to be true. This isn’t it, Will. We weren’t created for this world. So as you grow up in the world—take heart. Jesus has already taken care of this mess. Our biggest problem has been taken care of. Don’t lose heart. Jesus is greater. He will make all things new.

All things new—like the sunrise coming up over the water. Light defeats darkness—every time. Do you believe that? And if you believe it, do you live like you do? Let your light shine before others, that they may see and give glory to God. The flickering light switches in our house are so much more than a happy melody and silly dance. They are significant reminders of what my heart desperately needs to remember. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

Waiting for baby: Praying for Soil

“One thing have I asked of The Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of The Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of The Lord and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:3

Having finished dinner, we sat across the table from him, waiting to hear his reply. Our question lingered in the air and I couldn’t wait to hear what he might say. John has been an important figure in Robby’s life since his time at Duke University. During those four years, John and Robby would meet regularly–talking about The Lord and life and how to grow as a man who would have eternal impact. I’m forever grateful for John’s particular role in the young life of my husband. I believe Robby entered his freshman year as a great guy. But he graduated as an incredible, equipped man thanks to the accountability and mentorship of John. What a picture of discipleship.

Since the summer of 2007 when I first met him, John has also played in my life as well. He and his wife Janet quickly adopted me as part of their family of Duke grads and significant others. From the first time I heard Robby speak of John, I knew he was someone significant–not only in Robby’s life going forward, but also in our life together. So I learned to lean in. I learned quickly to pay attention.

John’s visits to Dallas are regular, as are his waves of encouragement and intentionality to Robby through calls and emails. They have remained great friends. So our dinner together was nothing out of the ordinary. Yet this time, we had some fun news to share–a baby boy on the way in June. John and Janet rejoiced with us. As the evening grew to a close, Robby looked at John and simply asked, “What advice would you give to us as we begin this journey of parenthood?”

He sat still for only a moment and then, having made up his mind, began to speak. Somehow I knew his answer would be a far cry from what I expected. His response caught me off guard, mainly because it immediately filled me with panic. “It is impossible to raise godly children.” Gulp. What? What do you mean I can’t raise godly children? Isn’t that what good Christian mamas should do? And you’re telling me it is impossible? Then what’s the point–why have children at all if you can’t control the most important aspect this side of heaven?

My thoughts scattered in a million directions, but I tried to remain focused. Thankfully, John didn’t leave us hanging for long. He continued, “If a person is going to be born-again, The Lord must deliver him. It is completely out of our control. Only The Lord our God can change a heart and cause it to know it’s need and in turn, be saved.” Hmm. He had a point. I knew those things to be true…and yet it panicked me that I couldn’t do anything about it as a parent. It was out of my control.

So, then what? As a new mom, what am I do to? I leaned in, hoping he would answer the question that was weighing down on my heart. He did. “As a parent, your responsibility is two fold. First of all, plant the soil. Tuck it in on every side, dig it in deep trenches around your child. Teach him about The Lord, raise him up in the church. Pack, pack, pack the soil in. And then pray. Only The Lord brings fruit out of fertile soil. But your job as a parent is to plant and pack.”

I had never thought about it that way. Pack and then pray, leaving the work of salvation to the only One who can bring it. I thought about the parable of friends in Luke 5 who were desperate to bring their paralytic friend before Jesus. Not able to carry him through the crowds, they went to the roof to lower him, right to the feet of Jesus. Trusting that He alone could heal, they played the only role they knew–the role of bringing their friend before Jesus. And letting Him take it from there.

I will be a mama for the first time in June. There are so many thoughts that race through my mind. But this one in particular has stayed front and center. I can plant, I can pack–but then I must trust The Lord to provide. To heal. To change. To save. Beginning in June, my role remains simple: plant, pack and pray. Plant, pack and pray. Repeat for the rest of my life.

John followed up with his second thought. “Finally,” he said, “show your children what it looks like to have a satisfied soul in Christ. That is the greatest gift you can give him. Show him the beauty and richness and fulfillment of a life lived in Christ.” Simple and yet extremely profound. That’s it, really? But then I considered the weight and importance of what he was saying. It made perfect sense to me.

The only thing this baby boy needs in this world is Jesus. By God’s grace, I pray it is the one thing he sees lived out in my life day in and day out. A satisfied soul in Jesus. I sat back in my chair–relieved by the seeming simplicity and yet overwhelmed by the significance of what John just said.

Little one, I can’t promise that I know what I’m doing when you enter this world. You’re catching me in my rookie season. Having never been a mama before, I can hardly know what to expect–especially because I don’t know you yet. But I can promise you one thing, I’m going to try every day of our life together to show you Jesus–to show you what a soul looks like when it is satisfied in Jesus. Yet even this won’t be perfect. There will be days when I will make Jesus look unimportant and even unsatisfying. Oh how I pray though, that you will see Him at work and even through a broken sinner like me.

There are so many unknowns to me when I consider being a new mom. I guess these thoughts rise to the top of my list. John answered the questions I had long been afraid to ask. And yet in doing so, he gave me great hope: it doesn’t depend on me. Yes, I have a role to play–a significant one of planting, packing and praying. But salvation belongs to The Lord alone. The heart and soul of this little boy growing within me depend on His mercy.

Father above, make me the kind of mom who knows my place. Not as a savior–but as a mama, called to plant, pack and play. Help me to leave the work of salvation and eternal contentment to you. As we raise this little boy in the church and with the rich influence of your Word, I pray he would see a mama and daddy who have souls satisfied in Christ. His need is no different than my own.

Plant, pack, pray. Live before your children with souls that are satisfied by the one, true Savior. Then wait. But keeping praying for that soil–that it would be fruitful–and that He would raise up a child who knows the only One who is truly satisfying.

Grace for the Ordinary

The day started earlier than usual. Our baby woke up well before his “normal” time, and just like that, we were off and running. It was one of those mornings when everything just felt off. I was beyond exhausted. I fumbled through the kitchen to start my much-needed coffee and prepare breakfast for a busy one year old. I closed the kitchen cabinet with a bit too much gusto (and admittedly, some exhausted frustration), and then, the sound of shattered glass—never a good sign, no matter the time of day. But there’s something particularly provoking about broken glass before 6:00 am. My favorite cake platter acquired a chip, just large enough and sharp enough to render it dangerous and useless. I gripped the counter and hung my head. Not the start to my day that I had imagined. Where’s the reset button?

The morning progressed and it seemed as though things were piling up. I had lost perspective. I felt like a snowball rolling down a hill—gaining speed and heading towards an inevitable crash. There wasn’t one particular issue that day, just a slew of miniscule bothers that combined to leave me feeling short and shallow. I felt short towards those I love dearly and shallow in my understanding of God’s grace. It had been an ordinary morning, nothing flashy, nothing tragic. Just daily life, and it was getting the best of me. But that’s the beauty of the gospel. It cuts through the muck and mire of ordinary days and messy hearts to do what we can’t do for ourselves. That morning, I found myself desperate for heart-level change.

I have been a mom for a little over a year now. Everything I thought I understood—the good things and the hard things—has been radically reorganized by a precious, bright-eyed boy. I have tasted the goodness of God in ways I never imagined. How deep the Father’s love for us! Oh the beauty and depth and TRUTH of that beloved hymn! I grapple with understanding the depth of my love for my son, and then I consider the infinitely higher, deeper, stronger love of Christ. What grace! Motherhood has humbled me beyond any other role. I find myself at a loss for words, which is an unsettling and challenging feeling for a writer! But oh, if anything should render me speechless, it should be the grace of God!

I have come to realize the staggering sufficiency of Christ in the ordinary moments of life. Life as a mom to a toddler can seem routine. Most of my days consist of three main categories: eating, napping, and playing. Sleep and then repeat. Yet each day feels so full and so purposeful. That is a picture of the sufficiency of Christ. Paul points this out beautifully in 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” The Lord has used this verse to sustain me in moments when I have felt the weight of my own insufficiency—moments before the sun is up and glass is already shattering. Christ meets us in the ordinary moments and reminds us that the sufficiency to live life to the glory of God can only come from one source. He provides all that we need so that we may abound in every good work.

One of my favorite moments of the day is getting to rock our son to sleep at night. It’s generally a peaceful process. Those quiet moments before sleep give me the opportunity to tell Will things I long for him to know. It feels like a sacred moment, like a chance to speak into his heart and life and beg the Lord to speak louder than my words. I sing and rock him until he’s asleep. As I carry him towards the crib, I whisper something to him. It is something that I deeply believe for him and desperately long for him to understand. I started doing this when Will was a newborn and at times, I feel like I do it out of routine more than anything else. But after a long, ordinary day of picking up glass and battling for perspective, I heard my own words in a new way. “Your deepest need is Jesus, Will. In Him you all have that you need.” I stood over his crib and felt the weight of those words on my soul. Did I really believe that? Sure, I believe it for Will, but do I believe it for myself? Oh Lord, give me grace to see! The gospel is staggering and the Lord’s love is sufficient for every single need, not only for an infant, but also for a sinful mama feeling trapped in the ordinary.

Grace for the ordinary moments and days—what a gift! Lord, grant us grace to believe that truly, you are sufficient! Like an ocean, your grace is deep, deep, deep—beyond what we can imagine, and it is sufficient for our greatest need.

His sufficiency is enough. My deepest need is Jesus, and in Him, I have all that I need.

 

Turtle Sunrise is HERE!

After years of dreaming…and creating…Turtle Sunrise is finally ready for release. I’m so grateful to the Lord for this journey and excited to see the ways His will use it for His glory. To order a copy, please visit the “Books” section of my website. Also available is The Work of the Lord: Seaside Reflections.

Turtle Sunrise was inspired by REAL sea turtles on Amelia Island. One early morning before sunrise, I met the real characters: Winkle, Pringle and Tom. I watched this story of rescue unfold and knew immediately it would one day be in writing. I’m so excited to share this with you! Enjoy!