around here

"I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in the secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:3

It's been another hard week around here. In so many ways I really hate to be a Debbie downer but I know I owe it to myself to document some of my emotions here in this space because I always relish looking back on even the harder times because it brings me hope and strength that I survived things I thought I wouldn't be able to.

It's been rough in the deep heart spaces for quite sometime and I have felt a bit like God has been asking me to be still, quiet, introspective through much of this season of hard emotional work. I have gone through seasons like this before and it always hurts but I am digging into it because I believe so much more richness of life is up ahead.

I was recalling a season past with Chris last week when God asked me to be quiet during worship. If you know me in person you know I love to sing and lead worship, in fact I met my husband during a worship practice in my early twenties - I love to sing and frequently find myself falling into that role in the Church. It feels easy and I think we all like to feel useful. But I found myself during that season finding my strength and identity too much in that role and so for a time God asked me just to listen.

There was a girl in our Church whom I really liked but she always kind of rubbed me the wrong way with singing. I know this is going to sound horrible to admit but she always sat next to me and would sing at the top of her lungs harmonizing with me and to be honest I didn't think she had a great voice. I know, horrible but stay with me. It would throw me off and distract me from worship and in my heart I had a super bad attitude about it.

One Sunday during this season of silence I sat down during service and this girl was sitting pretty close to me. When the music started I felt it, a strong need to listen and not to sing out in my usual way but to really just listen to Gods people in worship. This girl was loud, it was right there in my ears but I did obey and did my best not to judge. After the service I was anxious to get out of there when an older women with tears streaming down her face stopped me.

"Thank you for using you gifts and singing out this morning so beautifully you helped me enter into worship it is such a gift you give to this place even when you are not up front leading"

Humbling does not even begin to describe that moment for me and I knew that women thought this loud girl was me.

God wracked me with His truth that morning that He will be worshipped in all things regardless of how good or how bad it sounds, how polished or perfect it might be. Weather we are silent or loud He is using us in so many ways far beyond how we think He is using us, our gifts, our offerings. Here I thought He was using me through singing but boy was I wrong.

This week my entire family has had the stomach flu. Kind of my worst nightmare. I have left our house only once in the past eight days and I haven't had much rest or a break. Chris is working so hard to make up for time he missed at both of his jobs. It causes us to argue when we are at the end of our rope and to be honest I am pretty ready to throw in the towel. I was doing my best to clean the kitchen this afternoon and thought that it would be so nice to have a bouquet of flowers on my table to brighten up the space and remind me that a new season is just around the corner. I decided to move a tiny primrose and candle to the table and told myself I would light my lavender candle and try to be thankful. At that moment my Mother in law was at the door with a bouquet of tulips and hug from the outside world (she has been sick too so it was a sacrifice of love).

She stood in the doorway for a half and hour and spoke wisdom and truth over me. She reminded me that God has given me such purpose and hope and although this season feels bleak and quiet He promises to use it and that He will be worshipped all I have to do is be faithful to say yes and walk the road He has laid out before me not assuming what or how but trusting Him.

So I got out my camera and rounded up some beauty in the ways I know how. I still have some sick kids and more on my plate than seems humanly possible but in a small way God refreshed my spirit this afternoon and whispered hope that when my back is against the wall it forces me out of my comfort zone into the light of more of myself than I thought possible. And I wanted to encourage you too if you are reading and feeling like what you have to offer seems like less than enough or God is asking you to do something that doesn't feel comfortable or're dead wrong my friends, He's getting the glory out of each step you take. And even though I have been a little quiet in this space and on other forms of social media I am here walking right along side you and know we can do this thing!


  1. I just found your blog last week, thank you for writing this post. I really needed to read it :)

  2. Love this post, so honest & encouraging x

    1. .....and you have a way with rounding up beauty, lovely images.

  3. oh girl...i would love to join you and hash all this out with you. we are in such a hard, stressful valley too. it's been so hard. my husband's job has been horrid, we've been living in a townhouse we thought would be temporary for a year and half, we've been searching for a different job...somewhere we'd be happy to settle like, forever and it's been no after no...or yes's with crappy offers. our forth baby is due in under 6 weeks and life just seems so upsidedown right now. i think you and i would be good company to each other...wish we were closer.
    hang in there, girl. i know it will work out for both of us.


  4. love your photos. I just noticed your owl photo, so crazy but my post today was about that same owl!!! small world :)

  5. Today in my quiet time, all I could pray was to tell God that I don't feel like I have anything left. I won't go into all of the details of why our season is hard around here, but basically, I just feel like the work is just relentless, and not only that, but my work is ineffective, like I don't know how to do what I need to do right. And then, God gave me 1 Peter 5:6-11: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. 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 your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering. 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. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." It was so encouraging...of course that didn't keep me from basically bawling my eyes out as I finished feeding my kids dinner tonight, cleaning them up, and getting them into bed. I felt like, "Hey, God, I know You spoke to me just this afternoon, but I need a refill pretty badly!" And then I came to your blog. Your words, the Isaiah verse, and your photos have blessed me very much. Thanks so much for sharing your heart. I know it's not easy to feel like all you have to share is hard stuff, but for what it's worth, I am really feeling the "you know that your [sisters] throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings" part right now. To God be the glory! He is merciful and loving, and He knows what we have going on, and He has His hand on us. As our pastor has always said, "Plod on, plod on, plod on!" Blessings to you, sweet mama!

  6. These pictures are beautiful, as is this post. I love that verse from Isaiah! I'm sure I've read it before, maybe?, but it hit me so differently tonight when I read it. I want to share this quote with you that I came across this week. I hope that it's an encouragement to you like it was an encouragement to me. "I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble." (Helen Keller)

    Love from Oregon,

  7. I feel like I am going through this right now. Not exactly, of course, but the hard times, the sickness that doesn't end, etc. Thank you for your words and your photos - they speak to my heart!

  8. I had a time like this in my life about 4 years ago. And it lasted well over a year. Our 19 yr old daughter (at that time) left our house, moved in with a guy and his mother whom she only knoew for 6 weeks, the mother was a drug addicted, it was against everything we believed, especially the living with him. She married him 3 months later at the court house, never told us becuase she will have nothing to do with us. He (her husband)is a very controlling person. I felt like I was sufficating with grief. My husband (a Pastor) told me God will never give you more than you can handle on your plate. I said I moved to a platter. Then he said think of it as a privelage that God choose us to deal with this. He knows we can handle it. Almost 4 years later still no contact with our daughter and I am at peace and know the Lord has a plan. Sorry for the book .... you too will get this season of trials my friend. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

  9. You and your offerings are beautiful, Rebekah. I'll pray that God will show me how best to walk along side you in this season. I love you!

  10. Thank you for this post. It reminded me to remember God.

  11. Thank you for the reminder. :) I, too, have been a in funk of sorts that I can't seem to shake. Praying for you!

  12. In my office/craft room because I am having my "throw in the towel" moment... Spot on my friend... Spot on! May he get the glory!!! I purposely wore my "ths is the best day ever" shirt... And it feels like crappiest day ever... But I will be quiet. Be still. And give him thanks in all areas.

  13. Such a wonderful reminder! This is what I needed to hear after a long week with my very determined, head strong and extremely busy (almost) four year old. I need to look to God more often and ask for direction and peace. He's there, he's always there just waiting on me to ask! Motherhood and life in general can be just exhausting at times and we all need to rely on God more. He does not give us anything that he knows we not capable of handling. I am saying a prayer for you tonight!

  14. i love you so much, and am so grateful for the way you use this blog of yours to document your journey and give glory to God! you know i am cheering you on, praying for you, journeying with you. thank you for sharpening me, reminding me, and encouraging me through your deeply beautiful reflections and words.

  15. I can completely identify with you, down to the singing. Thank you for sharing this ~ it greatly encouraged me! xoxo

  16. Thank you for your honesty and perspective. I think I needed to hear this just now.


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