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Exactly 1 year ago TODAY….. I posted my very first blog entry! It was one that was really close to my heart and probably the most real thing I’ve ever written in my life. Therefore, I feel like God really worked through it and blessed me – AND others – through it. Well, THIS – which I guess you could call my “anniversary post,” (which is funny, because mine and Danny’s wedding anniversary is actually tomorrow) – is also incredibly close to my heart, and has actually been on my heart for quite some time…..

I actually started working on THIS painting of trees in different seasons over a year ago (at a Paint Nite), but only just finished it during the March Break THIS year – and it got me thinking about not only the seasons of the year, but seasons of life. It ended up just really stirring something in my heart, resulting in God planting this idea for a blog about “seasons.” And I know for me, with my writing, a lot of times God will plant this seed and it just kind of seems to stay in the ground for a while – and although I might not see any growth with regards to it, I know that God is quietly at work on it.

SO….. With that being said, I was praying for something to sprout from this seed – and THEN, at the beginning of April, my friend, Ryan Brink (who actually created THIS website for me), shared this song on here by Hillsong (that I had never heard before), entitled “Seasons” and God just SO spoke to me through it! It was just totally what I needed to get this blog post going. However, as often happens with my writing, I was on a roll – and then….. I wasn’t. I had written a good couple pages on it and it was really coming together, but there was just something missing. So, I decided to take a break from it for a bit and just kept praying that God would give me the missing piece of the puzzle to this post. And THEN….. I went to church this past Sunday and the message was: “Expecting In Every Season” (preached by none other than Ryan Brink). Needless to say, God gave me exactly what I needed – not just to finish my post, but to begin to understand THIS particular season of life.

SO….. Whatever season of life YOU are in TODAY, I hope God will use THIS to speak to YOUR heart and encourage YOU the way He did Me while I was working on it…..



I don’t know about you, but I so love the different seasons of the year. My husband and I actually have this spot where we always take pictures together – in this park, by a cannon – and we now have a picture of us there in every season of the year, which I just think is really cool, and I feel like that is actually where my love of seasons came from. I just so appreciate the variety that each one brings (which looks especially cool when you have pictures of you in the same spot in each season). Even more than that, though, I appreciate the consistency that comes with them. You always know what each year is going to bring: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall (in THAT specific order), it’s just a matter of when – especially here in Canada. However, the seasons of life are a little (or a lot) different…..

Just over a year ago, I was in a very different season of life. It may have been Winter outside, but it was certainly Spring in my heart. So many beautiful possibilities were blooming. I was pregnant for the very first time and as you might guess, my husband and I couldn’t be more excited.



However, in what seemed the blink of an eye, that season quickly changed, as we found out about my miscarriage.

Isn’t it interesting how some seasons seem to be so short-lived

while others just appear to drag on and on – or even continue to relapse?

For instance, the recent weather here in Canada – just when we thought Spring was on its way, we got a snowstorm in April! Isn’t life often like that too? Just when there’s a ray of hope, winter rears its ugly head – sometimes again and again. Well, that’s what it’s felt like for me. It’s felt like perpetual Winter for the past year – and every time there is a glimmer of sunshine, it is quickly followed by a snowstorm. The irony of it is that (literal) Winter has always been my favorite season. Mostly because I just love snow. You could say I was like Elsa (you know, from “Frozen” – minus the cool powers) – “The cold never bothered me, anyway.” However, I would be lying if I said that this (metaphorical) Winter hasn’t gotten to me and my heart, at this point, though.



I think the hardest part of it all, though, is knowing that being a mom – and Danny and I being parents – is part of God’s plan, because, I mean, when you know that that’s what God wants you to do, it’s so hard to try and fathom why something like this would happen. Honestly, it feels like a cruel joke sometimes – because pretty much everything I do revolves around kids. I mean, I work at an elementary school, do Kids Church – not to mention the fact that I just published a children’s book. Plus, I’m good with kids and I just absolutely love working with them. I’d be lying if I said the irony didn’t hurt my heart a little bit (or a lot).


“Though the winter is long, even richer
The harvest it brings
Though my waiting prolongs, even greater
Your promise for me, like a seed
I believe that my season will come

God, You’re not done…..”


It’s hard to understand why things like this happen when God’s purpose for you is clear. However, another thing that is clear is the devil’s intention to thwart that clarity. You see, the chances are, the thing you love to do most (and that God has gifted you with), is the thing that the devil is going to attack and discourage the most. And if I’m speaking in all honesty right now, he has certainly done that – and is still doing it.

I feel SO unbelievably scared to even try to become pregnant again at this point, because I just SO don’t want the same thing to happen. As my husband always reminds me: we made it through last time. But seriously, just because you’ve been through something terrible – and know that you can survive it, with God by your side – doesn’t mean you want to go through it again. Am I right?


“Like the frost on a rose
Winter comes for us all
Oh how nature acquaints us
With the nature of patience
Like a seed in the snow
I’ve been buried to grow
For Your promise is loyal
From seed to sequoia”


Random – not really, though – but stay with me here….. Did you know that the giant sequoia is the world’s most massive tree, and arguably the largest living organism on Earth? Did you also know that the sequoia seed actually needs the harshness of Winter in order to flourish. How cool is that?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately and how that’s a lot like people. We grow the most during the most treacherous seasons in our lives. I don’t know about you, but looking back on all of the really difficult things I’ve been through – this year being the zenith – it was during those times that God showed me a strength that I didn’t know I had, because it was in those times that I had to lean on and trust in Him like never before.


“But this I do know: There is a depth of intimacy with God

that can only be known through suffering. There is a reliance on

Him that can only be experienced when everything else around my

 soul seems to give way. And if that’s what it takes to make this stubborn child

 cling to that old rugged cross, you can have your prosperity. I’d rather have Jesus.”

~ Laura Story


“‘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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults,

in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10



“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there

was in me an invincible summer.”

~ Albert Camus


Honestly, I’ve been asking God a lot lately: “Why am I here? What is the point of THIS season in my life? It just seems so fruitless.” I’ve just been thinking that this is an empty season, hopefully on the way to a better, more prosperous one. And then, the message at church on Sunday was about “Expecting in Every Season” and it was said that “God is using THIS season to give you the nutrients – and roots – you will depend on in your NEXT season.” Needless to say, my mind was blown – and God showed me that I couldn’t have been more wrong! Because, even when it seems like there’s no growth, God is always doing something “behind-the-scenes” – underground, where that little seed is that you may have forgotten about, so you stopped watering it – but He didn’t.


“God grows fragrant flowers of hope in the ashes of loss.”

~ Karen Kingsbury


Another important thing to remember is that our perception of our season is always different than our perception of someone else’s season. And one thing I’ve been guilty of a lot this past year is comparing my season with those around me – and as you may know, that’s always a dangerous game. Therefore, in doing so, I have been planting this idea in my head that MY season is insignificant – just because it seems to be SO different from everyone else’s around me. I just keep thinking: “Why does everyone else get a baby and I don’t?” And by that I don’t mean that I want a baby just because it seems like everyone else is having them (anyone who knows me knows that I’m not like that). It’s just hard to see everyone else around you living the season that you’re so desperately dreaming to be in at this particular time. What I’m beginning to realize, though, is that no one else has MY season. God made it specifically for ME. Just like God made YOUR season specifically for YOU.

However, sometimes we keep ourselves where we’re not supposed to be – because, out of fear, we are tempted to stay where it’s comfortable. It might be painful there, but at least our pain is familiar. Therefore, you really have to ask yourself sometimes: “Is God keeping me in this season OR am I keeping myself here?” After Sunday, I’ve definitely been asking myself that question – and in all honesty, I’m a little afraid of the answer…..


“Lord I think of Your love
Like the low winter sun
As I gaze I am blinded
In the light of Your brightness
Like a fire to the snow
I’m renewed in Your warmth
Melt the ice of this wild soul
Till the barren is beautiful…..


You can see my promise
Even in the winter
Cause You’re the God of greatness
Even in a manger
For all I know of seasons
Is that You take Your time…..”


Honestly….. It’s the waiting that scares me – because what if you’re waiting for something that will never come? That’s the thing with God, though, when He wants something to happen – when it’s in His plan – it WILL happen. It just may happen differently than you expect.

The thing is, I’m holding on to a vision and promise from God right now – a seed that He planted in my heart. I know that we’re going to have the family that we want – and that God wants us to have – someday. It’s just going to take longer than we expected. Isn’t that how it often (okay, pretty much always) works with God, though? Some say that He runs on His own timetable. I like to say that He is in a completely different time zone – when really, the fact of the matter is….. God is actually outside of time. That’s why God’s “little while” is so different than ours – and why we need to trust Him, because it’s that trust, that growing faith, that causes our relationship with Him to grow. I know that’s what it’s done for me. The fact is, we don’t like the waiting part, but that’s when our faith grows the most.

That’s why God is all about the journey – because THAT is when we learn to trust Him. Sometimes we think the answer to prayer is the point – but what if the journey is the point, so you make it all the way? Therefore, enjoy the journey, because God is in the journey, not just the destination. Sometimes praying for the things that we want becomes a distraction – we get so focussed on the answer that we don’t give God time to do what He needs to do. We need to learn to trust God – even in the dark, when we can’t see and don’t know what’s going on. We have to learn to say: “I don’t see it, I don’t understand it, but I’m trusting You.” Because, you know what? Whatever we ask God for, the answer is always bigger than we think – it’s always more. We would settle for what we ask for, but God wants to give us more – because when God is at work, it’s greater than we could ever dream of. He doesn’t want to just give us a little “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” – even though that is the cutest little tree ever – He wants to give us a sequoia. And you know what? That just means that it will be so worth the wait and even more appreciated when it does come. So, I don’t know about you, but I want the biggest and best tree from God – even if it takes more time for it to grow…..


“I can see the promise
I can see the future
You’re the God of seasons
I’m just in the winter
If all I know of harvest
Is that it’s worth my patience
Then if You’re not done working
God I’m not done waiting…..”


Therefore, I’m believing that my promise from God will be fulfilled. It’s just the route He’s taking to get me there, I’m not so sure of yet. However, I’m now realizing that what I thought was the destination is really just part of the journey – and just the beginning of it, really. Because, you see, our “FINALLY” is His “I’m just getting started!”


“And when I finally see my tree

Still I believe there’s a season to come…..”



“You were there in the valley of shadows
You were there in the depth of my sorrows
You’re my strength, my hope for tomorrow
I’ve been blessed beyond all measure

I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Letting go and trusting when I cannot see
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Surely every season you are good to me…..” 

“Counting Every Blessing” (Rend Collective)





Let’s Talk…..

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“I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are…..

But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious…..”


SO….. Unless you live under a rock or something, you probably know about “Bell Let’s Talk Day” (which is dedicated to breaking the silence, as well as ending the stigma, of mental illness) and how it just took place last week (on January 31st). Well, since the whole point of that day is to “start” a conversation about it – let’s talk.


Let’s talk….. about mental illness. Let’s talk….. about anxiety, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), hoarding, depression and anorexia AND what those 5 things have in common – which is that I’ve struggled with all of them for as long as I can remember, and at one point, they even defined me and made me feel ashamed….. but not anymore. Well, okay, if we’re being completely honest….. still a little bit.

If you suffer from mental illness, it’s a part of you, but it doesn’t define you – or, at least, it shouldn’t. It doesn’t make you any less human. In fact, it makes you even more of one. It can be hard to feel that way sometimes, though, when it seems like EVERYONE else has it altogether. But the thing is…..


“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we

compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

~ Steven Furtick

(THAT is something I really have to keep in mind these days – and YOU should, too.)


Sometimes, I find myself thinking, “Really, God? Did you even give me a fighting chance?” And then, I remember who’s been there with me through it all – Him.

And I just want to say….. Even if you don’t believe in God….. He believes in YOU – and He loves YOU – and He’s with YOU through it all. I KNOW – because there is no way I would have survived what I’ve been through, if He wasn’t with me.


SO….. I have a lot of fears. So, I pray about them often. Therefore, I actually pray about the future A LOT – because it terrifies me. The thing I pray the most about when it comes to the future, though, is….. my children – which, after having a miscarriage, is hard to do. I mean, when something like that has already happened, you can’t help but imagine more bad things happening in the future. My most frequent prayer about my future children, though, is that I won’t pass down any of my mental health issues to them – because I already love them SO much that I don’t want them to have to deal with what I have had to.

The fact is, I haven’t had an easy life. I mean, who has – especially when you struggle with mental illness? This year has been especially hard, though. Since my miscarriage back in May, my anxiety and depression have been worse than they have been in a very long time. In fact, I don’t remember things being this bad since back almost 10 years ago, when I had something very traumatic happen to me. I was robbed at knifepoint. That’s when things got really out of hand for me with regards to my mental health. My anxiety, OCD, and hoarding worsened; my depression was triggered; and my anorexia was diagnosed. This past year, though, I’ve had more anxiety attacks than ever before, and have just burst out crying more times than I can even count. Needless to say, it hasn’t been an easy year.


I was actually recently talking to my good friend, Natalie, about all of this stuff – and she’s so wise. She told me something that really made me think AND blessed me SO much. She said that even though dealing with those things has been really hard, they’ve made me who I am today. She also went on to tell me that she feels honored to be so close to me – because I don’t let a lot of people in, but she’s one of them – because, as a result, she has been able to witness what an awful year I’ve had, but at the same time, see how much courage and strength and faith I’ve had through it all. So, even though, of course, I don’t want my kids to ever have to go through hard times in the future, she told me that if they see how I handle them, they’ll know that they can get through those things, too – and live to see better days. (THAT was SO encouraging!)


Then, I got to thinking….. The fact is, most of my mental health issues were passed down to me through my Mom – whether it be by nature or nurture – as she has a lot of the same issues that I do. However, when I think about it, when I was growing up, she probably prayed for me not to have to deal with these things either – but you know what? If having to deal with those same things has made me anything like her, then I’m glad – because if I am even the slightest bit as amazing a woman as she is – as kind-hearted and strong – then it was all worth it.


“If you ask God for a miracle and you don’t get it,

it’s because you’re going to be someone else’s miracle.”

~ Nick Vujicic


When you struggle with mental illness, it’s really hard to find those people who will accept and value you for YOU – the whole package – every part of you, including your mental illness. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a Mom and a couple of close friends who do just that – and who love, support and encourage me. I mean, it’s hard enough sometimes to be able to love yourself – never mind thinking about finding someone who will love you despite your mental illness. However, God has helped me not only learn to love myself, but He brought me a husband who loves me, not despite my mental illness, but because I’m me. And not only that, but he thinks I’m amazing – and tells me that. He also helps me deal with everything that comes along with my mental illness with a patience, gentleness, and love that I never even could have fathomed someone would. Most importantly, though, he loves me for who I am – not who I could be OR who I might be one day, but for who I am right now. He loves me right where I’m at.


Anyone who knows me would probably be really surprised to know that I struggle with the mental health issues that I do, because one thing a lot of people say to me is that I always have a smile on my face, and I always seem happy. Well, there’s a reason for that. Of course, I’m not always happy – no one is. However, I DO always have a joy in my heart – that God puts there – because I know that although bad things happen, so do good things. And even though at times, it can feel like only bad things happen to me, the fact is, SO many more good things have happened. Bad things may have happened in my past, but so did good – and bad things will happen in my future….. but so will good. The thing is, no matter what happens, God is with me through it and He’s going to use it – either to help me OR someone else entirely. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck sometimes….. but it doesn’t mean there isn’t hope.

“Darkness never wins.

It only fools you into thinking it does.”

~ Prince Charming (Once Upon A Time)


So, I’ll admit it – sometimes when I’m smiling, I’m just being brave, trying to get through another day. But oftentimes, it’s simply because I’m grateful for this life I’ve been given – no matter how messy or chaotic or just downright difficult it may sometimes be – because, most of the time….. it’s really quite beautiful.


 “I don’t know why bad things happen to good people,

but I have to believe that strength and something beautiful will come from this pain.”

(My friend, Sara, recently reminded me of this quote from the movie “Soul Surfer.”)


So, no matter what you’re going through right now – whether it’s mental illness or something else entirely – I want YOU to know that there is a God who loves YOU and who is right there beside YOU through it all. He’ll get you through this AND make you even stronger, in the process. It may not feel like it right now, but take it from someone who has been there – and who is still there. God’s got THIS – and even more importantly….. He’s got YOU.


SO….. Be YOU – and be proud of who that is – NOT ashamed.

“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”



And ALWAYS remember….. YOU are NOT alone!


“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me


Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies

(“This Is Me” ~ The Greatest Showman)

My Battle Cry

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Battle cry: a yell or chant taken up in battle, in hopes of raising morale on your side – and letting your enemy know what they’re up against.


The fact of the matter is, life can often feel like a war. The way 2017 went for my husband and me, going into 2018, I realized that I needed to remember my battle cry…..



I honestly don’t know how to feel about 2017. I mean, how are you supposed to feel about a year in which one of your biggest dreams became a reality, while another one of them was crushed? Where you came so close to having something so precious that it was within your reach one minute and the next, it couldn’t seem farther away? A year where your heart was one of the fullest it’s ever been (at two different times), yet broken into more pieces than you could ever hope to count…..


2017 brought untold joy for my husband and me, but also unimaginable heartache – the kind I never thought I would feel. I found out I was pregnant last year. I also found out that we lost our baby. I finished my book (that I had been working on for a few years), published it, held my book launch and did a book reading at the school I work at (which I was in the newspaper for).


On one hand – what an amazing year, right? I mean, it’s been my biggest dream for as long as I can remember to be a published author – and I did it! I finally made it happen in 2017. But on the other hand, it is a dream of mine (that I didn’t even realize how much I wanted or how much it meant to me) to have a baby of my own and be a mother – and that was taken away from me this past year. I mean, sure, that doesn’t mean that we can’t keep trying and that I won’t have a baby in the future – but even so, it won’t erase what was taken from us. We’ll never be able to meet that child or watch it grow and have children of its own one day. Heck, we didn’t even get to find out if it was a boy or a girl. And that hurts. It all hurts – more than I can even describe.


*Real Talk: I actually spent a lot of 2017 being mad at God and not even really knowing just how mad I was – and then, not admitting it (to myself or God). Anyone else ever do that? However, when I finally did admit it, there was a freedom in it. In knowing that no matter how mad you get at God, He’ll always be there for you and want to talk to you. You see, God isn’t so fragile that us being mad at Him is going to hurt His feelings. In fact, He actually likes it when we tell Him that we’re mad at Him – because, then, at least we’re being honest with Him. You see, in any real relationship, there needs to be honesty. The fact is, in every relationship, you’re bound to get mad at the other person, at some point – and if it is indeed a genuine relationship, then you have to work through that anger, in order to get to the other side – AND it usually ends up just bringing you closer, in the process. I know that’s what it’s been doing with me and God – now that I’ve finally told Him how I feel. I mean, He already knew — but He needed me to say it out loud.


I don’t know about you, but I’m someone who gets really excited about making New Year’s resolutions, but I felt like I just couldn’t even bring myself to do it this year. I mean, when you’ve just had the worst year of your life, it’s hard to think that it can get any better. Plus, when you achieve your biggest dream, but then, another one of your dreams crashes and burns – all in the same year – where does that leave you? I mean, when you’ve achieved more than you ever thought you could achieve, but lost more than you ever thought you could lose….. why even bother making goals? I mean, what’s the point? Yes, it’s a depressing thought – it’s how I’ve been feeling, though – but, wait, it gets better…..


SO….. Needless to say, 2017 was brutal, but I have to believe that things will get better. Otherwise, Satan wins. And you know what? I might not know all of the in between details, but I know the end of the story – and….. SPOILER ALERT: Satan loses. In fact, he doesn’t even get a single victory. Not in your life – and not in mine. The fact is, God doesn’t just give us victory – He is our victory.


If 2017 has taught me anything, it’s that “pain is real – but so is hope.” That’s why trusting God is so important – because, through all of the pain and heartache….. He’s there. When bad things happen and life sucks….. He never turns away – but rather, tightens his embrace. Therefore, of all the lessons I learned in 2017, I think the most valuable one was this:


“I am not in control, but I am deeply loved by the one who is…..”



“I can see the Promised Land
Though there’s pain within the plan
There is victory in the end
Your love is my battle cry

When my fears, like Jericho
Build their walls around my soul
When my heart is overthrown
Your love is my battle cry
The anthem for all my life

Every giant will fall, the mountains will move
Every chain of the past, You’ve broken in two
Over fear, over lies, we’re singing the truth
That nothing is impossible with You

There is hope within the fight
In the wars that rage inside
Though the shadows steal the light
Your love is my battle cry
The anthem for all my life”

~ Every Giant Will Fall 

(Rend Collective)



SO….. With God’s help, I’m going to break off the chains of 2017 and enter into 2018 with hope and peace, declaring my battle cry – the love of the One who loves me more than anyone, who is with me through it all, and who gives me the kind of freedom that I can only hope to one day fathom.


How about YOU? How are YOU going to choose to enter 2018? Because it is a choice.

AND….. What will YOUR battle cry be?



“But those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.”

~ Isaiah 40:31


“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

~ Romans 8:37


Let’s do this, 2018…..


An Ornament For Christ

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I have a confession to make….. I LOVE Christmas! So, as you can imagine, I’m pretty excited that it’s exactly one week until Christmas!

Who else loves Christmas?

There’s this picture that I found that always makes me laugh, because I feel like it just perfectly illustrates how I feel about Christmas…..

Can you guess which one is me?


Yep, you could say that Christmas is my favorite day of the year. However, I also love birthdays – but not just my birthday, birthdays in general. So, the way I see it is, not only is Christmas, “Christmas,” it’s also Jesus’s birthday – and Jesus is not only the Son of God, but the BEST person to ever walk the face of the Earth! So, that right there, makes Christmas the BEST DAY EVER!

What’s your favorite thing about Christmas?


I love Christmas hats and Christmas movies – I even have a collection of both! But I just LOVE everything about Christmas! I’m just like, “Snow, lights – presents!” I’m one of those weird people who actually loves giving people presents more than receiving them, though. Is there anyone else like that? The one thing that I do always love to get from people, though, is Christmas ornaments.

You see, when I was younger, my Mom would get me a new one every year and that was  the one present that I always got to open on Christmas Eve. And then, ever since the first Christmas that I had with my husband, Danny, my Mom has gotten us an ornament and put our names on it – and it’s always my favorite present every year. So, yeah, those are definitely some of my favorite ornaments. My absolute favorite ornament, though, is actually this really beautiful (albeit completely random) one that has always reminded me of “The Light of Eärendil” from my favorite movie. Yes, I’m that obsessed with “The Lord of the Rings” — AND I love the part where Galadriel gives that to Frodo and says: “I give you the the light of Eärendil, our most beloved star. May it be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” It’s so comforting — especially since it reminds me of John 1:5:

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Who else has a favorite ornament?


When we think of ornaments, something beautiful usually comes to mind. Shiny, bright, glistening, sparkly, and pretty are just a few words we use to describe them. The dictionary actually describes an ornament as “anything serving to adorn; decoration; embellishment.”

In 1 Peter 3:4 (KJV), it says:

“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible,

even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”


So, that right there is talking about a very special ornament – our heart. So, if our heart is an ornament, doesn’t that then mean that we’re also an ornament?

The Bible even tells us in Luke 6:45:

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart,

and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his

heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”


So, everything we say and do comes from our heart. Therefore, we are a direct reflection of our hearts – and there are so many more verses in the Bible that confirm this.

So, the question then becomes…..

What kind of ornament are we?


So, back to our verse in 1 Peter (3:4) – and I actually really like how it’s worded in the NIV Bible:


“Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty

of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”


That verse starts with the word “Instead,” which in other words means….. baaack it up. We have to check the preceding verses to see what it means. So, when we look at the verses before 1 Peter 3:4 – and even after it – they talk about how what you say and do matter, because there are unsaved people all around you, who need to be pointed to God. So, what comes out of your heart – and how you live your life – is important, because your life is on display.

Now, these verses actually talk about husbands and wives, but really, it relates to everyone, because it’s talking about how your life is on display – and it’s on display for everyone that you come across. People, in general, are watching how we live our lives, so we want to make sure that if we claim to be representing God, that we’re doing it in a way that is going to bring glory to Him.

The verses before and after our ornament verse also talk about how we adorn (or decorate) ourselves and how it is not to be that of doing things to our outside, such as “braiding the hair” or “wearing gold,” but that our heart is where we should be adorning ourselves.

1 Peter 3:3-5 says:

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment,

such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.

Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty

of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their trust

in God used to make themselves beautiful.”


Now, Peter isn’t saying, “Don’t fix your hair and don’t wear gold.” He is simply stressing that the external stuff isn’t important, but what is in your heart is, because other lives depend on how we act from our hearts.

So, how we adorn or decorate ourselves on the outside wasn’t the issue here. It was how we adorn our hearts. Don’t think about the external, because our family, friends, and people we meet are looking at our lives and our lives are a reflection of our hearts. In other words, just like a Christmas ornament, hanging on a tree, our lives are dangling out there for others to see.

Therefore, we need to be “An Ornament For Christ.” So, the way I see it is, in this analogy, the Christmas tree represents the world, we’re the ornaments, and Jesus is the star on top of the tree. So, we were put on the world to decorate it, making it a more beautiful place, by showing people Jesus’s love, and in doing so, pointing them to him. Because, when the ornaments on a tree are beautiful, they direct attention to the tree, which ultimately directs attention to what’s on top of the tree – the star, which is Jesus.

It’s interesting that we’re talking about Christmas trees, though, because they actually have pagan origins. So, they’re not godly. However, just like ornaments are placed on a Christmas tree, we were put here, on this sinful earth. “Many places in the Bible say that though we are in the world, we do not have to be of  the world. As believers, we don’t belong to this world, but we are to be a light in it” (Joyce Meyer). In other words, we should be “An Ornament For Christ” on this pagan tree. Therefore, we need to look at what kind of ornament we’re really being – especially at this time of year.


So, what type of ornament are you right now, at this point in your life?

And, the way I see it, there are 5 to choose from:

~ The Glittery Ornament

~ The Lost Ornament

~ The Broken Ornament

~ The Packed Away Ornament

~ The Passionate Ornament


1) The Glittery Ornament

I don’t know about you, but I love glitter. It makes things look SO beautiful – like this ornament – but if I were holding this ornament right now, I would have glitter all over my hands. Have you ever noticed that about glitter? It doesn’t stay on – it comes off. This reminds me of people who put on a show and act like they have everything together – and even go so far as pretending that they’re someone they’re not.

So, really, that old adage is true that “All that glitters isn’t gold,” because that beautiful glitter could be hiding something ugly, like with the Pharisees in the Bible. And Jesus even said in Matthew 23:27-28:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!

You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside

but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.

In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but

on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”


And then, just before that (in Matthew 23:25-26), he said:


“You clean the outside of the cup and dish,

but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish,

and then the outside also will be clean.”


On the other hand, while glitter can make things look more beautiful than they are, it could also be hiding something that’s even better than the glitter. It could be hiding something so beautiful that you’re just afraid to show, because you don’t think it’s good enough or you’ve been discouraged by someone about it in the past.

The point is, if you’re putting on glitter to make yourself look better, you’re hiding what’s underneath the glitter – what God actually gave you to bring to the table – what’s real. And the thing is, as followers of Jesus, we’re supposed to follow His example – and  Jesus is the real deal – I mean, He’s as real as it gets. He was when He was here on earth and He is now. So, He wants us to be real too, otherwise we’re not going to be able to point people to Him.

There’s this song and I always love this one line of it. It says: “Pretending to be who you’re not, is a waste of what you got.” So, don’t underestimate who you are – because God made you that person for a reason. So, you may be able to do something or reach someone that another person can’t, but if you’re trying to be someone else, then God can’t use you to touch that person.


Either way, whether you’re using glitter to cover up something that’s bad or good, God sees it.


1 Samuel 16:7 tells us:

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”


The fact is, the Lord sees your heart. So, if you’re doing things to fool other people, it may work, but you can’t fool God. You can’t hide behind glitter with him. He knows you and he knows your heart. And even more than that, He loves you and your heart. So, he wants to help you set aside the glitter and look to him for the answers.


2) The Lost Ornament

So….. I had a picture of this ornament to show you, but I can’t seem to find it….. Get it – because it’s lost! Hehehe….. 😛


Oftentimes, feeling lost comes from discouragement and feeling like you’re all alone. It’s definitely easy to feel like we’re all alone in this world, but we’re not – and when we think we are, that’s a lie straight from the devil. You see, the devil wants you to feel isolated, because it’s when you’re alone that you’re the most vulnerable.


“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,

against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and

against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

~ Ephesians 6:12


Which is why we need to always be praying – because we’re in a spiritual battle – and if we don’t know our place in it…..

it’s easy to get lost.


“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

~ Matthew 26:41


You see, the devil knows our strengths and weaknesses, so he’s going to attack where he knows he can.


1 Peter 5:8-9 tells us this:

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around

like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm

in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the

world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”


And that’s exactly what the devil is like. A lion knows which antelope to attack, because it studies its prey. So, it’s not going to go after the strong leader at the front of the herd, but the weak, gimpy one that’s trailing behind.


But 1 Peter 5:10 goes on to say:

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,

after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you

and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”


So, no matter how alone and preyed upon you feel, God is always right there with you. So, you don’t have to feel lost.


There’s a spot for you on the tree. There’s a purpose for you in this life. God isn’t just going to give up on you and put another ornament in your place. Therefore, if you’re feeling lost — like you’re one of those ornaments all the way at the back of the tree, who can’t see any of the other ornaments on the tree, much less the star on top of it, so you don’t even know where you’re at. And you feel like no one sees you or even knows you’re there – like they’re not even looking for you – I want you to remember that Jesus is. And He’s not just going to send out a search party to find you – He’s going to go Himself.


It’s just like with “The Parable of the Lost Sheep:”

“Suppose one of you has 100 sheep and loses one of them.

Does he not leave the 99 in the open country and

go after the lost sheep until he finds it?”

~ Luke 15:4


That’s what Jesus does with us — because we’re THAT special to him and he loves us THAT much.



“Lost Doesn’t Mean Alone.”


That always reminds me of Peter Pan and his lost boys – because Peter Pan goes out and finds them – and if you notice, they’re lost, but they’re all together. So, they’re not really alone, because they have each other — and Peter Pan to guide them.

In the same way, except on an even grander scale – because, come on, Peter’s Pan’s got nothing on Jesus – Jesus will bring people into our lives, and even more than that, He is always with us, finding us every time we feel lost, and guiding our way.


After all, Jesus has a heart for the lost…..

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

~ Luke 19:10


3) The Broken Ornament

Now, to be broken means to be:

~ Reduced to fragments or in pieces

~ Not functioning properly

~ Out of working order


Although that’s the definition for broken, it mostly refers to objects, because when we think “broken,” we usually do think of objects, like this ornament – but people can be broken, too. It’s a little different when a person is broken, though.


Usually, when a person is broken, you feel like:

~ There’s something wrong with you

~ You’re never good enough

~ Something terrible has happened in your life and things will never get better

~ Discouraged

~ Hurt

~ Hopeless

~ You just feel like giving up

~ Like there’s no point

Proverbs 15:13 says:

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,

but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.”


Now, there we go, talking about our hearts again – and how they affect everything. And one of the biggest reasons that I think we end up feeling broken as a person is because of the world and people – we let them get into our hearts in a negative way, discouraging our hearts and breaking our spirit.

There’s this quote I love, though, and it says:

“When the world says you’re not good enough, get a second opinion.”

~ Nick Vujicic


Because the world couldn’t be more wrong.


“Humanity takes what is glorious and ruins it.

God takes what is ruined and makes it glorious.”

~ Brian Houston

So, as I mentioned, one of the biggest reasons we end up feeling broken is because of terrible things that have happened in our lives. And those bad things often cause damaging effects on people, resulting in people feeling broken. But the good news is that God can use those bad things to touch not only your life, but other people’s, as well.


“Your misery will be your ministry.”


That means that all of the bad things that have happened in your life will be a way of leading people to God.


Now, that doesn’t mean that your pain doesn’t matter or that I’m trying to minimize it in any way, because I’m definitely not. The point I’m trying to make is just that God has a way of taking terrible things and turning them upside-down, causing good things to come from them. And I’ve learned that a lot in my life. I’m not just saying it – I’ve lived it (this year, especially).

And I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that when something terrible and traumatic happens to you in your life, it doesn’t just happen in that one moment and then goes away the next – it stays with you. It causes a cut in your life and in your heart and that cut eventually turns into a scar. Now, the bad thing about that is that that scar will always be there to remind you of that terrible thing that happened, but the good thing about that scar is that it’s proof that God heals. He doesn’t just leave open wounds in our hearts and in our lives. He heals us. He pierces through the darkness like a lighthouse and leads us home – to Him.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that “the pain passes, but the beauty remains.” The fact of the matter is, terrible things are going to happen, but what we do with those terrible things is what defines us, not the terrible things themselves. There’s going to be hurt in our lives, but life is beautiful – and YOUR life is beautiful.



Your “ornament” is beautiful – even if it is broken.


And a lot of times we feel like we’re broken beyond repair, but that’s because there’s only one person who can “fix” us – and it’s not Handy Manny (like, from the cartoon) – it’s Jesus. So, if you’re not bringing your brokenness to Him to be fixed, it can be hard to believe that you’re not just like this ornament.

You might feel broken, but you are not unfixable.


“We throw away broken things, but God uses broken things.”


And in doing so, “fixes them” – and makes them whole again.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 even says:

“‘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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight

in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.”


So, if you’re feeling like a broken ornament today, let God put you back together – piece by piece. Let God use you – not despite your brokenness, but because of it. Let your misery be your ministry – and let your scars be proof to the world that God heals.


4) The Packed Away Ornament

I feel like sometimes we just get so used to life and being a Christian that it’s like it almost becomes unremarkable to us. Like, we forget how special and important what we’re doing is. We just start going through the motions and doing things almost mechanically and without sincerity. So, we might as well be packed away in a box that’s up on a shelf – you know, that one that’s WAY in the back that you stopped even trying to reach a long time ago.


Well, the Bible even tells us:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the

renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of

God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

~ Romans 12:2


I often wonder how we, as people, can get bored with this life and doing God’s work, because there’s always SO much to do. And the extraordinary thing is, God didn’t need to put us here to do it – He wanted to. He doesn’t need us, but rather, He wants us. He wants to have a relationship with us and for us to show people His love – because he loves us SO much! I mean, he sent his Son here to die on the cross for us, so that we could have freedom and live up in heaven with him someday. That’s how much He loves us! And if that doesn’t renew your mind, and transform your heart, and encourage you beyond belief every time you think about it – AND make you want to unpack yourself from that box – then I don’t know what will!


“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away,

yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary

troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.

For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


5) The Passionate Ornament

There was this little Christmas special that I used to watch when I was younger, called “Noel: A Christmas Ornament.” So, as I’m sure you can tell, it was about a Christmas ornament named Noel. This ornament was special, though – you see, he had “a happiness,” which originated from a tear of joy becoming a part of him as he was being made. If you were to look around at other ornaments, though, he wasn’t really special, in that he wasn’t “unusual and precious” (as one of the other ornaments in this Christmas special described herself) or even fancy and super beautiful – he was just a red ball. However, it was his “happiness” that made him special.

All of the other ornaments that he shared a box with were super grumpy and didn’t mind being packed away (in fact, they preferred it) – like “The Packed Away Ornament” that we just talked about – they forgot how special what they were doing was. However, Noel didn’t – so, he couldn’t stand being packed away for most of the year. He desperately wanted to be on the tree, hanging for all to see – not to show off, but to bring them happiness, through his “happiness.” He genuinely loved Christmas and because of that love, he wanted to be a part of it and to show people how great it was.

The crazy thing, though, is that he would always see this “thing” at the bottom of the tree, that he was told (by the Christmas tree) was a toy stable, but he could never see into it, so he never really knew what it was. However, he was told that it was the “thing” it’s all about.

Then, one year, he ended up cracking and falling off of the tree, resulting in him breaking into a million pieces. However, that wasn’t the end for Noel, for he was finally able to see what was in the “thing” (or the stable) at the bottom of the tree, which was Jesus – and he finally understood what “it” was all about. And it’s then, that not only did he have a happiness, but he became a happiness – with the help of that tear of joy that went into his making. And being pure unadulterated happiness, he was able to go anywhere and he chose to go around the world, spreading the pure joy of Christmas.

You see, Noel had passion.

 (Passion – A great love for something, often expressed in action.)


So, a passionate ornament is one that takes that love and passion for Jesus and turns it into action – just like Noel did – which reminds me of one of my absolute favorite Bible verses:

 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.

Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to

everyone in the house. In the same way, let your

light shine before men, that they may see

your good deeds and praise your

Father in heaven.”

~ Matthew 5:14-16

Noel was surrounded by so much negativity and discouragement, but it didn’t matter, because he had a happiness in his heart, which caused passion to stir up inside of him and manifest itself through him.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud

 of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so

easily entangles, and let us run with perseverence the race marked out for us.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for

the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat

down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who

endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will

 not grow weary and lose heart.”

~ Hebrews 12:1-3


We should all want to be an ornament like Noel was, one with passion and joy – that only comes from seeing what’s in the stable at the bottom of the tree and acknowledging that THAT is what it’s ALL about – and THAT’S the reason we’re hanging on the Christmas tree to begin with – to be “An Ornament For Christ.”


No matter what ornament you are today, though, I want you to know that God loves YOU just the way you are – but he also loves you too much to leave you that way. And that’s what I love – we’re all a work in progress and that’s okay, because Jesus meets us where we’re at. He comes down to our level, just like he did when He came to earth. He’s not afraid to reach his hand down into our mess and help us work our way out of it with Him.


And the Bible even tells us this (in Philippians 1:6):

“Be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will

carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”




“‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord,

‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'”

~ Jeremiah 29:11-13


The fact is, we can choose how we embellish and adorn this world for Jesus, by how we act as a reflection of what’s in our hearts. As Christians, we are some kind of ornament, whether it is good or bad, dangling for all to see. We’re all ornaments on the Christmas tree of this world – and any ornament can hang on a tree, but it’s HOW you’re hanging that’s important. We ALL have the choice about how we hang on the Christmas tree of this world every day. So….. I really encourage you, as you decorate your Christmas tree this year — or as you’re admiring yours (or someone else’s) — to really consider: How am I hanging on the Christmas tree of this world – and how do I want to be hanging on it?

Not Okay, But That’s Okay

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“Grief is a strange thing. It shows up uninvited, comes for all sorts of reasons, and stays longer than we ever expect. No one knows quite how to grieve, but we all have to at some point. For, you see, grief doesn’t leave just because it is ignored. Instead, it lodges in places where it eventually will be acknowledged. BECAUSE….. That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt…..”

Unfortunately, I’m learning this in a very real way these days…..


SO….. I recently asked God…..

“How in the world am I supposed to help anyone with anything when I feel like I’m just struggling with life right now?”

And no sooner had I asked that question, did he answer:

By being YOU….. Someone who isn’t afraid to talk (or write) about the hard things. The things that other people can’t — or want to, but are afraid and don’t know how to.

SO….. Here goes…..

Have you ever lost something that was really important to you? And I don’t mean, like, your cell phone or something. I mean something truly valuable. Well….. My husband and I lost just about the most precious thing you can possibly lose, this year….. We lost our baby.

At the beginning of this year, we were over the moon, because we found out that we were expecting a baby. However, when I was just about 3 months along, we received the worst news that you can possibly get when you’re pregnant….. I had a miscarriage. We were devastated, to say the very least. And I feel like miscarriage is something that people don’t really talk about that much – although, I must say, I now understand why. It’s difficult enough to have to go through it, so the last thing you want to do is relive it by talking about it after the fact. However, I feel like talking about things (or writing about them) can provide so much healing and perspective and growth.

I feel like it’s in the silence that the devil wins. It’s when he gets you not talking about things – or even, afraid to talk about things – that he gains a foothold in your life.

Random – but not really, because you’ll see why I’m bringing it up as you read on – but has anyone watched the new “Lethal Weapon” T.V. show? I’ve never actually seen the movies, but my husband came across the new series of it a little while ago and I started watching it with him, and just fell in love with it. I was surprised at how much heart it has. Anyways….. At the very beginning of the series, Martin Riggs loses his wife in a car accident. Oh yeah, but did I forget to mention that she was nine months pregnant, at the time? So, he lost his child right along with her. Needless to say….. I balled uncontrollably. Anyways….. I’m bringing this up, because a few episodes in, he has quite a profound conversation with his therapist about how time isn’t making the loss any easier…..


Riggs: “You know, it’s not getting any easier. Time’s not helping.”

Dr. Cahill: “Why would it?”

Riggs: “Because everybody says that it does.”

Dr. Cahill: “People who say that don’t understand. Time is cruel. It punishes. When we sentence people to time, I don’t know that it makes it any easier.”

Riggs: “Then what am I doing here?”

Dr. Cahill: “You’re looking for a way to make it hurt a little less.”


Well, that’s what I’m doing here, on this blog, writing this right now. Trying to make it hurt a little less, because time sure isn’t helping. In fact, it may even make it worse. You see, it’s been about 6 months since my miscarriage (and every day is a struggle) and I was 3 months pregnant when it happened. SO….. Today (November 8th) was supposed to be my due date. So, this particular point in time is pretty freakin’ hard. People say it gets a little easier every day, but really, it feels like it actually hurts a little bit more each day. It’s like every day and everything is just a reminder of what we’ve lost.

AND….. One thing that is really frustrating when it comes to this world and the people in it (although, not all people), is that it’s like they put an expiration date on your pain. They assume that after so much time, you should just be over it. Well, that’s not quite how it works. I feel like that would be the equivalent of telling someone with a broken leg to just walk it off, and over time it’ll get better.

One thing I absolutely love about God, though, is that (unlike people) He never makes you feel that way. He never puts an expiration date on your pain. He never rushes you to heal or tells you that you just need to find a way to move on. He allows us to feel our pain for as long as we need to. However, He also doesn’t want us to be stuck. He wants us to be free, which is why He helps our hearts to heal (often in surprising ways), but never pressures them to.


“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

~ John 1:5


People tend to put pressure on recovery, though. They make you feel like you have to be okay — but the truth is, I’m not okay. In fact, I am so far from okay, it’s not even funny. What I love about God, though, is that He makes us feel as though it’s okay to not be okay. He doesn’t try to “fix” us or give up on us when we’re not okay for too long.


Have you ever been mad at God, but you don’t want to be, so you pretend like you’re not? Yeah….. Well, a good friend of ours recently helped me realize that that’s what I’ve been doing. He also reminded me that God isn’t so fragile that us being mad at Him is going to hurt His feelings. In fact, He actually likes it when we tell Him that we’re mad at Him – because then, at least we’re being honest with Him. You see, in any real relationship, there needs to be honesty. The fact is, in every relationship, you’re bound to get mad at the other person, at some point – and if it is indeed a genuine relationship, then you have to work through that anger, in order to get to the other side – AND it usually ends up just bringing you closer, in the process. I know that’s what it’s been doing with me and God – now that I’ve finally told Him how I feel. I mean, He already knew — but He needed me to say it out loud.


“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us;

we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

~ C.S. Lewis


One thing I don’t understand is when people are always saying that God’s in control – and then, something like this happens. However, if He’s in control, then doesn’t that mean that He let it happen? And I realized that was the root of my anger. Why? Why would God let this happen? Well….. That I still don’t know – and, unfortunately, I don’t think I ever will. I don’t know why miscarriage (and things like it) have to happen at all or why it had to happen to us. There are a lot of things I don’t know, but one thing I do know is that God has been with us through it all. I also know that we couldn’t have made it through it without Him. That’s why I felt bad being mad at Him – because, I mean, how crazy is it to be mad at someone who didn’t actually cause your pain, and then has been with you through it all? Plus, He’s given me some pretty extraordinary people to help me through it.


“This world only loves you when it’s all smiles

And ‘I’m doing fine’

But when your broken heart is on your sleeve

That’s when love leaves you far behind

Well, not every time…..” 


I feel like when you’re going through a really hard time – a particularly difficult season of life – it’s like you’re stuck in the mud….. and sometimes, you just need someone who is not going to be afraid to reach down into that mud and try and help you out of it. Someone who is going to push past the potential awkwardness and boldly and lovingly enter into your pain and sadness – even if it means getting right into that mud and sitting there beside you, hurting with you – as long as it takes. After all, that’s what Jesus would do – and what He does do. SO….. I’m just SO unbelievably grateful for the people He’s blessed me with who do the same (like my AWESOME husband AND my AMAZING Mom) – especially during this time, as this has honestly been the hardest year of my life….. and I needed that.


I don’t know about you, but I like knowing things. I just feel like there’s such a beauty and peace in knowing. But maybe with God, it’s about trusting Him enough to have that peace in the unknown….. because that’s faith, right there – never knowing, but always trusting.

The fact is….. There are A LOT of things that I don’t know, but one thing that I do know….. is that God’s got this – and He’s got me. AND….. If that’s all I get to know, then I guess I can be okay with that. BECAUSE….. The Bible tells us that God sees every tear that we cry – and you know what? He cries right along with us…..


“Here in the shadows

I’ll lift up an offering of praise

What was true in the light

Is still true in the dark

You’re good and You’re kind

And You care for this heart

Oh Lord I believe

That You weep with me

Turn my lament

Into a love song

Transform me

And turn my lament

Into an anthem

I need You now

I need You now…..”

~ “Weep With Me” (Rend Collective)


“So, I won’t give up

No, I won’t break down

Sooner than it seems life turns around

And I will be strong

Even if it all goes wrong

When I’m standing in the dark, I’ll still believe

Someone’s watching over me…..”





Living The Dream

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“I Have A Dream…..”

Okay, so I totally stole that from Martin Luther King Jr. – who, of course, had a pretty ambitious dream. I mean, ending segregation – kind of EPIC (to say the very least)! Enough to inspire anyone to dream to make a difference, really. I know it inspires me (to make a difference – in any way that I can)! There’s actually this quote that I love and it says:


  “Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



In other words, if you’re going to dream…..

Dream BIG!


With THAT being said, MY dream is important – and kind of a BIG deal – to me. You see, it has been my biggest dream, for as long as I can remember, to write a book AND get it published. AND….. It’s FINALLY happened!



“When I was a little girl

I swore that I would change the world when I grew up

Nothing else would be enough

I see it everyday

We settle for safe

And lose ourselves along the way

But if you don’t dream big, what’s the use in dreaming

If you don’t have faith, there’s nothing worth believing

It takes one hope to make the stars worth reaching for

So reach out for something more…..”

(“Dream Big” ~ Emily Shackleton)



“The two most important days in your life

are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

~ Mark Twain


The thing is, I’ve known for a long time that this is what God wanted me to do with my life – write a book, as it was going to encourage A LOT of people in a BIG way. Little did I know just how much it would encourage me, in the process.


“Pursue your passion, but do it with a greater Jesus-purpose.

It’s not what you do that matters most, but WHY you do it.”

~ Louie Giglio


I feel like God has always put words into my heart in a special way. I can’t quite explain it, but I always feel closer to Him when I write – which is why the devil really tries to discourage me when it comes to my writing. I know that now, but I didn’t always. Chances are, the thing you love to do most (and that God has gifted you with), is the thing that the devil is going to attack and discourage the most. He definitely did that with me when it came to this book. That is why it’s SO important to stay focussed on God. Let your passion and your purpose be rooted in Him and let that be your driving force.

And you see, my dream behind the dream of writing a book was to encourage people; to provide them with light in the darkness; and ultimately, point them to Jesus, in the process. All I know is He has changed my life in the most AMAZING ways and I would SO love if everyone had the opportunity to experience that the way that I have. In fact, I feel like it would be selfish of me not to want that for people.

I mean, He put this dream of writing a book into my heart and helped me make it happen — and believe me, it was not easy, but He made it possible. Plus, I feel like SO much of my heart (and soul) went into this book that it’s pretty much me in book form. That’s passion….. That’s “living the dream”….. That is God. He will push you SO far out of your comfort zone — but in the very best way. He’s pretty AWESOME like that! He’ll make your dreams not only attainable, but SO much more fulfilling. I don’t know about YOU, but I want to live every day with that kind of passion — the kind that comes from seeing your dreams become a reality — the kind of passion that only God can provide.


“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

~ Philippians 4:13


SO….. Thank you to every single person who reads my book, because (as I said) writing and publishing a book has always been my biggest dream. So, by reading it, YOU are a part of that dream. Therefore, thank you for making my dream come true. Moreover, I encourage YOU to pursue YOUR dreams, because they are only as impossible as you make them out to be. I mean, I thought that my dream was impossible – but look, I’m holding it in my hands (in the picture above). Now, that doesn’t mean that making YOUR dream come true is easy, by any means, but it is indeed VERY possible!


“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

~ Walt Disney


Therefore, I encourage YOU, “little stars,” to…..


Dream BIG,

Shine bright

And never forget how AWESOME



OR how AMAZING God is

AND what HE can do through YOU!



MY Superman

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TODAY marks a VERY special day in Manny (Missy + Danny) history, for exactly 5 years ago TODAY….. We got married! Honestly, we’ve had a really tough couple of weeks and with everything that’s happened, it kind of feels like THIS day has been tainted and that there’s not as much to celebrate. You see, TODAY was supposed to be an extra special day, as we were going to announce some SUPER special news (if you read my last post) – AND we were even going to celebrate by going away next weekend (but we’ve decided to cancel, in light of recent events). However, my Mom recently reminded me that THIS is still something really special AND a day worth celebrating, as my husband and I have been through A LOT in our past 5 years of marriage (AND 7 years together) AND….. We’re STILL together – AND THAT is definitely worth celebrating! SO….. Happy 5th Anniversary, Danny Harrison!!!!! <3



THIS guy right here is my heart. Some call him “Superman” (although, I get to call him “MY Superman”), while others know him as “Wolverine” – but most just stick to “Danny.” However, I’m the ONLY one who gets to call him “MY husband” – and I honestly don’t know how I lived for so long without him, because I would be lost without him now – AND I don’t even know what I did to deserve him. Actually, I do….. I prayed for him – before I even knew him.


The truth is, I was praying for my future husband long before I met Danny. I prayed that he would be a mighty man of God, who loved me for me and that he would wait for me – and that I would wait for him – and settle for nothing less than God’s best. AND….. I got THAT and SO much MORE when God brought Danny into my life. And it’s crazy too, because I knew right away when I met Danny, that there was something special about him – I didn’t know what at the time, but I knew he was different than any other guy I had ever met. Was it love at first sight? No – because even though I’m a self-professed hopeless romantic, oddly enough, I don’t believe in love at first sight. I believe that you have to know someone and know someone’s heart to truly love them. SO….. No, it wasn’t love at first sight – but it was something at first sight. Something I didn’t think I was ready for – but God knew otherwise.


Honestly, I remember thinking (and even saying) that I wasn’t going to get married – or if I did, it would be a long way off. I just didn’t think that it was in the cards for me….. until I met Danny. Who knew that one person could change your life in such a drastic – but crazy AMAZING – way?!


And now….. I can’t wait to have a family and a house (and just everything) with THIS guy – I love him so much. And honestly, all of those things scare me – but the thought of having them with him….. makes them much less daunting.


Yep….. I think describing Danny as my favorite person in the entire world would be the understatement of the century. THIS guy is an angel in a bearded disguise! Actually, now that I think about it….. Do angels have beards? Because, I mean, they could, right – or is that against the rules or something? Aw well, the important thing is….. Jesus did! And it’s funny, because I always tell Danny that he takes the whole “be like Jesus” thing a little too literally – what, with the whole carpenter thing AND the epic beard! Seriously, though, if you want to see someone who radiates with the love of Jesus, look no further than THIS guy right here! He has the biggest heart of anyone I know and he shows me a little bit more of God’s love with each passing day.


He has challenged, encouraged and loved me through everything that life has thrown our way. He’s dried my tears on my worst days and laughed with me on my best. He’s seen me at my meanest and grumpiest and STILL thinks I’m the sweetest – even though, really, HE is! He never gets annoyed with me when I’m not feeling well – which is A LOT! I can tell him anything and he never judges me – not for one single second. He gives the best advice AND the VERY best hugs!



“I’ve realized, I think the most important thing in

the world is having someone really know you.”

(Jaclyn Palmer ~ “I Do, I Do, I Do”)



I never thought that someone would know me SO well and love me SO much! AND….. I never thought that my heart could be SO happy! When I think of YOU, I think “Happily Ever After” – because that’s what YOU are to me. You’re the “Happily Ever After” that I never thought I’d get (but always secretly wanted). You’re like my own little piece of heaven, right here on Earth! You make me the best Missy I can be and I love you SO much for it! I can’t even tell you how unbelievably blessed I feel to have the privilege of calling YOU my husband! YOU are a Superman among men and I love YOU with all of my little Missy heart!



“I love who I am when I’m with you.

You are my dearest friend, my deepest love.

You are the very best of me.”

~ Nicholas Sparks

(“The Best of Me”)




I love that marriage at its finest is such a picture of God’s unconditional love for us – and I SO love that WE have that. When I think about how much you love me, Danny Harrison, it just overwhelms me – and then, to think that God loves us even more than that, just blows my mind!


Honestly, though….. OUR love blows my mind! It’s not perfect, but it’s SO extraordinary and unconditional that I don’t even know if it can accurately be described. However, if I had to try to explain it, I think I would say that it is a waves crashing over you (like in a wave pool – where it’s fun and exciting and you’re trying to jump over the waves as they come), hot chocolate on the coldest winter’s day (warming your whole body as it goes down), heart FULL, forever kind of love! Some of that probably doesn’t even make sense – but hey, neither does love!


It’s crazy to think that we’ve been married for 5 years (and been together for 7)! BUT….. It’s EVEN crazier to think that this is STILL really just the beginning for us! We STILL have SO much more to look forward to – like, buying a home, having kids, my becoming a published author, YOU becoming a certified carpenter! SO….. As much as we have behind us, we have SO much more ahead of us – from struggles we’re going to go through, to goals we’re going to accomplish, to fights we’re going to have, to dreams we’re going to see come true. I’ll more than gladly take all of it, though – the good, the bad and the ugly – as long as I get to go through it ALL with YOU! SO….. Here’s to OUR future! The BEST is yet to come!


SO….. Happy 5th Manny-versary to not only my own personal Superman, but my favorite person in the whole wide world – AND the person I have the honor of calling not only my best friend, but my husband! You’re definitely one of God’s greatest blessings in my life! I don’t think you’ll ever quite be able to grasp just how much I adore and admire you! I just hope that I was able to give YOU a day as SUPER as YOU deserve!

Not Enough Tears…..

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Have you ever had something SO awful happen to you, that you felt like there weren’t enough tears in the entire world to express your heartache? Well, that’s been mine and my husband’s reality over the past couple of weeks.


You see, originally, I was planning to post my very first entry in THIS blog tomorrow – on mine and Danny’s 5th wedding anniversary – and it was going to announce some SUPER special news. However, instead, it is coming a day early – to tell a much different tale.


Honestly, I didn’t want to write this post, but my husband – knowing me as well as he does (even better than I know myself) – knew it would help me to write about it. AND….. As per usual – he was right.


SO….. It is with a very heavy heart that I share this with you. With that being said, there’s no easy way to say this. Today….. I would have been 13 weeks and 1 day pregnant….. But, sadly, I’m not. We went in for an ultrasound last Monday, after having our first one done just a couple weeks before (at which time everything was fine). However, at this one….. THAT was not the case. At THIS one, we went in super excited and continued to be excited, as we saw the baby on the screen – and saw that it was actually starting to look like a baby (unlike the time before, where it just looked like a little jumping jellybean). However, our excitement soon turned to absolute horror….. as we were informed that we had lost the baby almost a week before.


Yep….. 3 things you definitely never want to hear at an ultrasound are: “We couldn’t find a heartbeat,” “there’s no fetal activity” and “it is no longer a viable pregnancy.” If there are any more traumatic terms in the English language, I don’t know what they are. Needless to say, I was in shock. I just froze for a moment – but what seemed like SO much longer – not understanding what was going on, as if it were some cruel joke. I mean, how could we have lost the baby, when it was right there – just moments before – looking like a baby and seeming like everything was normal? I was so confused. And then….. I just started crying – uncontrollably – the likes of which I never had before.


As you can imagine, Danny and I were mortified at that moment – and still are. In fact, to say that we’re absolutely devastated and heartbroken would be the understatement of the century. AND….. The worst part was….. I still hadn’t had a miscarriage or anything, so the baby was still in there – AND everything seemed normal. So, it was actually tricking my body into thinking that I was still pregnant. So, on top of all of the grief and heartache I was feeling at that point, I was still physically feeling awful – like, I was throwing up and could hardly keep anything down. SO….. If we hadn’t have had that ultrasound, we wouldn’t even have known that anything was wrong – and we would be announcing our exciting news on here tomorrow. AND….. As awful as all of THIS is….. I think THAT would have been worse.


So, anyways, yeah….. We were definitely not good at the moment – and then, soon realized that it was only going to get worse, as I ended up having to see a doctor and getting a procedure done THIS past Monday. So, just when we thought it was going to get easier – it got A LOT harder.


SO….. For a few days, including the day of my surgery, I actually thought that if I could try and stay numb, that it would somehow make things easier. Well, I was wrong….. Because as I was trying to stay strong and numb – sitting alone in the patient waiting room (just before they prep you for surgery) – I just broke down. (I’ve got to say, though, that one good thing that’s come out of this whole experience is that we’ve discovered just how AMAZING the Winchester Hospital is – along with their staff – AND it reaffirmed our love of Dr. St. Cyr.) But yeah, as I started crying, a nurse came over and gave me a hug and comforted me – AND even went and got Danny and let him stay with me until right before they moved me to the Operating Room. And let me tell you something – THAT made ALL the difference!


I honestly have no idea what I would have done without Danny these past couple of weeks. He has been so gracious and understanding and just plain amazing. He’s made me talk to him when I needed to, let me stay quiet when I needed to, held my hand, held me and let me just cry whenever I’ve needed to. He’s taken time off of work to be with me through the really hard days. He’s made me smile when I didn’t think there was anything left to smile about. I can’t even truly explain all that he’s done for me, because I feel like nothing I say could ever even come close to doing him justice. He always puts me first and makes sure that I’m okay before ever thinking of himself. In short, I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this life.


Needless to say, I am not in a good place right now…..


A good friend of mine recently asked me if I was feeling pretty close to rock bottom – and while I answered yes, I was actually thinking to myself: “Is there something lower than rock bottom?” And then, I remembered the words of my good “Friend,” Rachel Green:



“I really thought I just hit rock bottom.

But today, it’s like there’s rock bottom…..

50 feet of crap….. then me.”



SO….. (Random, but you’ll see why I’m bringing it up, as you continue to read)….. My favorite show is “Once Upon A Time” and one of the less pleasant aspects of the show is that at times, some of the evil characters on it actually rip out people’s hearts – which is not actually as gruesome as it may sound, as the show is about fairy tale characters and magic. Therefore, as soon as someone’s heart leaves their body, it actually becomes this glowing, magical heart. But anyways, on to my point….. On the show, when you look at the face of the person who is getting their heart ripped out – at that exact moment – it expresses such excruciating pain. The stuff of nightmares, really. Oddly enough, I always morbidly wondered what it would feel like to have that happen. Well….. Now I don’t have to. I literally feel as though my heart has been ripped from my chest – and I don’t think I’m going to be getting it back any time soon.


Another thing about this whole heart abduction on “Once Upon A Time,” is that when someone takes your heart – you’re still alive….. And they can squeeze your heart, causing you untold pain at any time. So, even though your heart is no longer inside of you, you can still feel things – but not good things, only terrible ones. Well, that’s what THIS feels like – like someone’s just walking around, randomly squeezing my heart.


And the worst part is – well, let’s face it, in these kinds of situations, everything is the worst part – so really, ONE of the worst parts, is that I don’t feel like myself. I feel like something’s missing. I’m usually such a happy and bright person, but honestly, all I feel is darkness – like there’s a rain cloud over my soul. I’ve lost my joy.


Random fact (but really not so random)….. I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). So, needless to say, I like control. I like having control of things and I like knowing things. And with this….. The “worst part” (because, again, EVERYTHING is the worst part) is NOT knowing….. Not knowing what happened or why it happened. Not knowing why it happened to me. Not getting to know our baby and who they would’ve become. *Insert cries here* (Because I seriously cried while writing THIS particular part – and still do every time I read over it.) Yep….. THAT is the “worst part” – knowing that we’re never going to get to meet them or see them grow. It’s a really strange feeling, in fact – missing something that hasn’t yet come to pass – missing someone that you hadn’t even met yet. Moreover, the “worst part” is that this little thing that was inside of me and a part of me for almost 3 months is just gone. Needless to say, I feel empty. I’m sad and mad and confused, all at once. I mean, how do you say goodbye to someone that you never even really got to say hello to?


Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not one to complain – especially about life and circumstances – because I love my life and everyone goes through hard times at some point. However, at the moment, I just feel like every bad thing is rushing back to me. I’m just being reminded of it all at once. And while I know that I am unbelievably blessed and I am SO grateful for this life I’ve been given, I really just need to vent about some of the bad stuff right now…..


One of the hardest things is that I feel like my husband and I have had to struggle for everything that we have AND to get to every place that we have gotten to. We had to fight for our relationship while we were dating and engaged, because of family stuff that was going on. So, it’s a miracle in itself that we made it to our wedding and are now married. And then, we had a really difficult time adjusting to marriage, due to some health issues, on my part. And then, it just always seems like there’s something – like, we just never get a break. Things that seem to come SO easily to some people – like, buying a house – have taken us years, and we still haven’t gotten there.


SO….. When we found out that we were pregnant, it was truly a miracle – this beautiful gift that we had been given. Although it seemed like longer, we had actually only been trying to have a baby for a couple of months – so it was actually kind of surprising when we found out that we were already pregnant. We were SO excited! And honestly, up until a couple of weeks ago, I thought that this was going to be OUR time – the ONE time that we were going to get exactly what we wanted, without having to work SO FREAKIN’ hard; without having to struggle and fight with everything that we have. And then….. THIS happened.


Honestly, I am so depressed right now, which is not good, because I actually suffer from depression to begin with – which anyone who knows me would probably be surprised to learn. Seriously, though, I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything or be around anyone – it’s just too hard. I feel like I can’t breathe. And I feel like society is always telling you with things like this, that you just need to hurry up and get over it – and as much as I’d like to do just that and forget this ever happened, at the same time….. I don’t want to, because that would mean forgetting that this baby ever happened – and I don’t want to do that.


I’ve actually had people ask me already if we’re going to try again – and I feel like that’s SO insensitive to say right now, because it’s as if you’re saying that this particular baby didn’t matter or that it can just so easily be replaced. It’s like when someone’s pet dies and they just go and get another one – I hate that. You can’t replace living things. I can’t replace this baby – and I wouldn’t want to.


Honestly, I kind of hated being pregnant, because I was really sick for almost the whole time. I couldn’t eat and I felt awful and I was just grumpy all the time. I mean, it’s great for people who have had a lovely experience with pregnancy, but I definitely did not. At least I knew that it was all for something, though – that in the end, it would be worth it, because I would have a baby and be a mommy – and THAT was an encouraging thought. THAT’S what got me through most days. But now, I feel like I never want to try to have a baby or be pregnant ever again – because now, it’s like that was all for nothing. Instead of leading to this happy ending of a baby and a family, it’s led to THIS – the most awful pain I’ve ever felt (and nothing to show for it).


I honestly feel broken.


And I hate it when people try to say things to make it better, but just fail miserably. I know they mean well, but it really doesn’t help things out. Like, when someone tells you that it’s all part of God’s plan. I’m sorry, but I really don’t think God’s plan involves dead babies. I just hate it when people make it sound like God caused this, because they’re trying to wrap it up into a neat little package. The fact is….. God didn’t cause this – but He IS going to use it (it’s just really hard to see how right now). That’s always been my experience, though – that God uses the most awful, painful situations to redeem us in some way. I have had some pretty crappy stuff happen to me in my life and God has always been there for me – and THIS time is no different. He has been right here with us, holding our hands as we’ve gone through everything – and I feel SO grateful for THAT, because we SO couldn’t have done THIS alone.


I SO love the grace of God. And I love that through this difficult time, he’s allowed me to be whoever I’ve needed to be. You see, anyone who knows me, knows that I’m usually someone who’s smiling all the time, but I haven’t been able to be that person right now – and I’ve felt no pressure from God to have to be. I feel like I’ve been able to be sad and cry as much as I’ve needed to and tell him things that I was afraid to say out loud – and never once has He judged me for ANY of it. In fact, I’ve been really angry, but confused as to where to direct that anger – and I feel like He’s even gone so far as to tell me that I could direct it at Him, if I needed to. What kind of love is that? I can’t even comprehend it – but I’m so glad to know it and to have it in my life.


I’m also SO glad that God blessed me with the most AMAZING husband, who SO reflects THAT kind of love. How he has made it through this, I will never know – because I have been an absolute wreck and he has been my rock. What an extraordinary heart he has. How it can be SO strong and yet, so kind and gentle, I will never quite understand.


I will also never understand why our baby was taken from us. And while I know that God didn’t take him/her, I DO know that he/she is with Him now – and honestly, if they can’t be with us, there is nowhere else I would rather them be.


With that being said…..

If I could say one thing to our baby right now, it would be:

“We love YOU and we’ll never forget YOU.”




P.S. > Danny’s sister reminded us of one of my favorite Bible verses

the other day and I am SO holding tight to it right now:


“’I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord,

‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’”

~ Jeremiah 29:11-13


P.S.P. > I also just keep singing this song…..


“Even when my strength is lost

I’ll praise You

Even when I have no song

I’ll praise You

Even when it’s hard to find the words

Louder then I’ll sing Your praise

I will only sing Your praise

Take this mountain weight

Take these ocean tears

Hold me through the trial

Come like hope again

Even when the fight seems lost

I’ll praise You

Even when it hurts like hell

I’ll praise You

Even when it makes no sense to sing

Louder then I’ll sing Your praise

I will only sing Your praise

And I will sing till the miracle comes…..”

~ “Even When It Hurts” (Hillsong United)