You Are Not the Only One

Earlier this year my daughter became obsessed with learning how to do a cartwheel. She took a cheer class at the Y and enjoyed going every week.  Until one day the teacher took a break to play a game. A cartwheel game. I could hear the sadness in her heart as she explained how everyone in the class started running around the room doing cartwheels and she just stood there.

When we got home, she insisted I teach her how. Her passion was evident. Her pointed toes were not. Her cartwheels were on the struggle bus and the countless bumps and bruises proved it. She rarely landed on her feet and every time she fell, she would cry and say, “I can’t. Everyone else can and I can’t.”

Which we all know is completely untrue. But that’s how she felt on Saturdays at cheer class. It wasn’t about doing a cartwheel. It was about feeling like she was the only one.

Lately, I’ve been fighting those feelings too.

It’s no secret our youngest son has issues. If you’re around him for more than three minutes you’ll notice he’s not “typical”. Because of this, it’s hard to take him places. It’s hard to explain to our other children why Jack sometimes gets treated differently. It’s hard to watch him take three steps forward in speech, but two steps back in behavior.

If I’m not proactive, I start believing the lies.
“Everyone else has normal children and you don’t.”
“Your family will never get to do what other families do.”
“It’s not getting better, it’s getting worse.”

There are days I wish Jack would be like the “other” kids. There are days I feel left out. Like the only girl in cheer class who can’t do a cartwheel.

Maybe your child isn’t delayed. Maybe your cartwheel is perfect. It’s still safe to say you’re hearing lies in at least one area of your life. The enemy of our soul wants to isolate us and make us feel like we are the only one struggling,

My determined little girl practiced every night for three weeks and finally mastered the skill. Now she proudly flips all over the house and is even attempting to teach her little sister.

While I haven’t mastered the skill of overcoming lies, I am getting better. I’m saying the lies out loud and replacing them with truth. In my car, washing dishes, in a conversation with a friend. I’m smashing those suckers like it’s a game of whack-a-mole. Every time I get them out of my head, I feel lighter and stronger.

Try it. You will too.





I Love a Stinky Kid

I love all my children. Truly.
I would jump in front of the proverbial bus for all four of them. But lately, there’s a certain tiny girl who I’d like to put on the bus instead. Judge me if you must.

Completely opposite from any of our other children, this 20-pound firecracker has a fuse shorter than her legs. If daddy takes twin brother out of his crib before her in the morning, you better batten down the hatches because she’s gonna scream and baby cuss and wake the whole house. It’s comical and annoying all at the same time.

Spankings don’t phase her. She puts herself in timeout. What is that?! And when I give positive praise to her other siblings, I swear she mutters “amateur” under her breath. Even after the punishment is over, she continues to scream, walking around the house hoping to grab eye contact with anyone who will notice her mayhem and foolishness.


Lately, I’ve been trying a new tactic. I hold her close, grab her face in my hands and smile. Then I calmly tell her, “I’m going to love the stink right out of you.”

She looks at me puzzled as can be.
I say it again, this time with a laugh. “I AM going to love the stink right out of you.”

So far, my new approach is working.  When I pull her close and speak love over her, it’s like I’ve hit the reset button on her attitude. Mind you, this doesn’t always work. Sometimes I say it and she yells “Noooooo” in the meanest & highest pitch possible, while kicking and wrestling out of my hug.

I have to wonder how many times God has said this to me.  I don’t think God keeps a tally, but if He did, heaven probably lost track of how many times He’s had to pull me close and reset my janky attitude.

Because I have a lot of stink. Anger, impatience, pride.

Just to name a few.

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15 NIV)

I am so grateful for the abounding love of the Lord. He loves me enough to speak His love through circumstances, conversations, or gentle nudges. All in effort to change my sour heart.

My feisty peanut recently turned two. Pray for me friends, because two rhymes with terrible and it could be a long year.

But I’m going to keep loving the stink out of my little girl.
I’m so glad God is doing the same for me.








Dear Emerson and Jackson,

It was a Monday in October. I went to the doctor expecting a normal ultrasound.
But when I looked at the screen, normal went out the window.
“There’s TWO?!”, I screamed.
The ultrasound tech tried to calm me down, but it was too late.  Crocodile tears shot out of my eyes and I felt my heart beating faster and faster.

The tech stepped out to get my nurse. My thoughts were swirling and I couldn’t get enough air in my lungs. Lincoln was only five months old. We had just moved to a smaller house so I could work part time. How on earth could there be two? The pregnancy was unexpected, but a twin pregnancy was definitely not in our plans.

The nurse tried her best to calm me down, but the tears wouldn’t stop. To say I felt overwhelmed is an understatement.

When my doctor came in, we talked about due dates and risk factors that accompany twin pregnancies and women at advanced maternal age (aka: old ladies). The tech had to go get another box of tissues because I had emptied hers.

Then my doctor said something and the atmosphere changed.
She said, “Baby B’s sack looks fine, but Baby A looks irregular. I want you to come back in two weeks to make sure Baby A is still viable.”
(Viable- capable of surviving or living successfully, especially under particular environmental conditions.)

In three seconds, my attitude and emotions flipped. Instead of thinking, “Two babies are not part of my plan.”, I began hoping and praying for those two babies to make it.

The next two weeks were a blur.
I worried. Then I tried not to worry.
I prayed I would accept God’s will. Then I begged God to let Baby A survive.
I made a secret Pinterest board  with adorable twin pictures. Then I cried because I wasn’t certain I would need this board.

The ultrasound two weeks later showed Baby A strong and growing. We would find out later Baby A was a girl.  Emmy, you gave mama quite a scare on Day 1!

Today is just another day to you. But today holds great significance for us.
Today you turn one. Today marks 365 days of survival. Not for you two, but for daddy and I. We survived hospital bedrest, an emergency c-section, and NICU.
Throw in total sleep deprivation, reflux, hand-foot-mouth and moving again. All this was just the first three months. We are tired all the time but we love our big, crazy family.

Emmy, you are still making mama nervous. You climb on anything and fear nothing. Spunky and brave, you learn quickly and always want to be in the mix. You have no problems stepping on Jack to get somewhere, and feel no remorse when you grab food off his tray. Patience is not yet in your vocabulary, but when you fake cough or crinkle your nose daddy and I forget how upset we are.

Jack, you are a gentle giant. Relaxed and patient nearly all the time, I can tell already you are a thinker. Cuddling and eating are your favorite things. You prefer to be with people over things and instantly win favor with anyone near. When you smile, sweetness oozes out and for a brief second my heart forgets how much work twins are.

I love you sweet babies. You weren’t in my plan. But I’m so glad you were in God’s.