There’s No Prayer Leader in Kindergarten


Dear Dominic Truth,

Not too long ago, you shared with me that your friend Blake told you, “There’s no prayer leader in Kindergarten”. Because you have been raised in a Christ-centered home, attended a Christian Preschool , been a part of church your entire 5 years of life, and have been surrounded almost exclusively by Christ-followers, I can understand your surprise at learning this.

At least that was my first response. But then, being the deep overthinker that mommy is, I began to contemplate what that really means for you.

There’s no prayer leader in kindergarten.

  • No one inviting you to start your day at school in prayer.
  • No one reminding you to fold your hands and bow your head to give thanks to God for your snack and lunch.
  • No Bible lesson to instruct you to be kind and loving. Or brave. Or honest.
  • No songs to reinforce that God will “strengthen you and help you”.
  • No teachers praising you for demonstrating Christ-like attributes. No teachers nurturing you with God’s word when your choices are not the wisest.

No prayer leader in kindergarten? I both shudder with fear and squeal with delight at the thought!

For now it really begins.

  • You will have to decide for yourself whether you will start your day at school with prayer.
  • You must decide for yourself to bow your head and give thanks for your snack and lunch.
  • It is up to you to lean on the stories from home and lessons from Church and decide for yourself to be kind and loving to everyone because that is what Christ instructs.
  • You will have to choose to carry a song of the goodness of God in your heart which you will, no doubt, share with your teacher and classmates.
  • You will have to rely on the Holy Spirit to make the right choice, the Christ honoring choice.
  • You’ll have to listen carefully to the quiet voice of God as he shapes you through your decisions. You’ll have to decide for yourself to confess when you have done wrong even if no one else notices.

No prayer leader in kindergarten? I disagree.

Perhaps, there will be no slot on the class job chart that holds this title. However, I believe and pray fervently that God will raise up a prayer leader all the same.

  • I pray you will own your faith.
  • When you cross paths with those, who like you, have a Biblical foundation, may you be the encouragement they need to live out what they know to be true even though no sticker will be placed on the reward chart for representing Christ.
  • When you come face to face with those who do not know Jesus….when you are confronted with questions of whether or not God truly exists…when you are faced with hard questions like: “Why is Jesus the only way?”…I pray you will wrestle through these questions and find the answers…find the truth in God’s word.
  • May you lead your friends to Christ.
  • May the years to come raise up a mighty prayer leader. One who will proclaim that he belongs to God and, regardless of religious opinions or cultural norms, lives out the truth of Jesus Christ in his life.

No prayer leader in kindergarten? Why, Dom, don’t you know that’s you?!

YOU are the prayer leader your kindergarten class needs. You’ve got this! And all your teachers and mentors past, present and even future will be cheering you on as you lead not only your kindergarten friends but everyone with whom you have contact because you are a prayer leader



Dom’s Life Verse

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

This Is Our Journey

This past Tuesday, my husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage! I posted this picture and description to my Instagram account:


“Joyful. Beautiful. And sometimes a glorious blur. That’s what the past 8 years have been with the love of my life!”

It has been an amazing whirlwind. We’ve had three kids and moved states and houses in those eight years. Some years we’ve celebrated with dinners out or overnight trips. Our first anniversary was celebrated amidst moving boxes. This year our family of 5 took a long overdue vacation. We decided that on our very special day we wanted to creatively walk down memory lane and take our children along.


On our wedding day we released monarch butterflies instead of blowing bubbles or throwing birdseed, so we started with a trip to the Butterfly Palace to look at beautiful exotic butterflies.


Then we went to Pasghetti’s, an Italian Restaurant, because we honeymooned in Rome.


Finally we returned to our vacation rental to watch our wedding video. The kids were mesmerized. They would ask questions about who this person was or where was so n so. My eldest asked if I still had my dress and if I would wear it someday. I answered “Someday” (I need to lose a few pounds!)


As we sat and watched this retelling of our marriage journey now 8 years in, I was struck by the story-lines I witnessed and how much life for us and others had changed! 


An image of me dancing with my father now gone 5 years.

A family of 4 now a family of 7.

A married couple now divorced.

Toddler cousins now teens.

A mother now a cancer survivor.

An eternal bachelor now married.


Infertility and miscarriage.

Foster care and adoption.

Life and death.


Hope and worry.



Weddings bring many many different people together. They enter a room with company they would never know otherwise. For a brief moment, there is joy and hope and bliss;  the “in sickness and in health; for richer or poorer” parts of the wedding vows seem more a tradition of words than a covenant of actions.

But when the “you may kiss your bride” has faded and the butterflies have been released…when the wedding dress has been stored and the tuxedo rental returned…when the dj packs up his music and the pastor goes home…when the honeymoon is a distant memory…life continues. It begins really. As it does, with all it’s rough “life happens” edges, we must choose to see the beautiful in spite of the ugly. We must choose to love deeply although the shallows feel safer. We must fight for each other when we’d rather walk away or even worse ignore. We must dig deep.

Life is beautiful. It is lovely on days worth celebrating and on days we’d rather forget. Through the mundane and the breathtaking, sucking the very marrow out of every moment really is worth it.


My brother and his beautiful wife wrote and sang this song for our wedding.

Our journey together starts today.

I’ll take you as mine together for a lifetime.

I give you my heart.

I give you my vow.

I give you my life right here and now.

This is our journey.


May your journey be worth traveling and may you never ever give up.


Life is beautiful.


Things I Don’t Want To Forget {Installment 2}

That my oldest takes pretty good selfies
That my oldest takes pretty good selfies
My sweet middle child still loves to cuddle
My sweet middle child still loves to cuddle
When my yougest smiles, his entire face lights up
When my yougest smiles, his entire face lights up
That he calls dessert: suh-dirt
That he calls dessert: suh-dirt
That she would wear her princess pj's 24/7 if I would allow it.
That she would wear her princess pj’s 24/7 if I would allow it.
That he can pull his socks and shoes off faster than i can say his name
That he can pull his socks and shoes off faster than i can say his name
How quickly he is learning to sound out words!
How quickly he is learning to sound out words!
Her love for dinosaur puzzles
Her love for dinosaur puzzles
The way he walks swaying from leg to leg
The way he walks swaying from leg to leg
His love for lego blocks. He is a master builder.
His love for lego blocks. He is a master builder.
Her incredible fashion sense
Her incredible fashion sense
That he acts like a big kid even though he's not...yet
That he acts like a big kid even though he’s not…yet
That he is a natural encourager
That he is a natural encourager
That she can count to 10...sort of.  1,2,3,4,5,7,9,10!
That she can count to 10…sort of.
That he can say momma, dada, uh-oh and knows that when the garage opens it means daddy is home!
That he can say momma, dada, uh-oh and knows that when the garage opens it means daddy is home!
That he treats every day like it is Christmas Morning
That he treats every day like it is Christmas Morning
That one day she will be potty trained but today is not that day.
That one day she will be potty trained but today is not that day.
His joy.
His joy.

Life is beautiful

Making Beautiful Day Ten {Ready}

Our house has been on the market for 43 days now. There’s a multiplicity of reasons why we are selling but the main reason is we need more walls. We have three kids ages 5, almost 3 and 1. We’ve tried a multiplicity of ways arranging the kids to make our simple but beautiful 3 bedroom home work but the personalities of our kiddos has made it a bit of a challenge.

It’s  a really interesting time to be selling a house. In our area of the globe, multiple large companies are moving their corporate offices this way making the demand for a home pretty significant. And yet, our home hasn’t been snatched up. That’s hard for anyone…add three little kids who have two-thirds of their toys in boxes in the garage, a little boy who currently sleeps on the pull out couch, and the need to keep the house pristine all. the. time. and it’s hard.

Making the decision to sell our home is one we thought and prayed a great deal about. We sought wisdom and the prayers of others and truly believe it was the right move to make. Unfortunately our timeline doesn’t appear to be a very quick timeline. We are so READY to get to a more stable place. Being totally honest here….given the current layout of our house means when the kids go to bed we are pretty much banished to our bedroom for risk of waking kids. On top of this challenge, every time there’s a house showing (we’ve had approximately 35 in 43 days) we have to leave the house. Sometimes it’s just an hour. Other times it’s the whole day! Since the weekend is the popular time to go look at homes, we haven’t had a weekend uninterrupted at home in 6 weeks. The kids are worn out. Marshall and I are worn out. The stress of keeping the house clean and being out of the house for long stretches at a time is draining.

We are ready to move on. We trust God. We thank God for a smart realtor. We hope for good news….soon.

Devin’s First Birthday!


On January 7th we celebrated Devin’s first birthday. 1st birthdays are always an enigma for me. I truly believe that every birthday is worth celebrating and will always find a way to celebrate each of my children in a special way. When your child is one, however, he doesn’t exactly have a lot of friends and he’s not exactly in to anything yet.

So as we’ve done with each of our kids on their first birthdays we invited our LifeGroup over to help us celebrate in the festivities.

We did a Hot Chocolate Party…an idea I saw on my instagram feed. Everyone had fun and it was bar none the easiest party I’ve ever hosted and literally no stress was involved!

Disclaimer. Some photos were taken with my phone while others on my nice camera (my amazing husband got the awesome photos). I’m kicking myself for not getting some good pictures of the food set up.


My sweet birthday boy!

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A blurry pic of the spread. We had chocolate and white chocolate covered pretzels and little bundtlets from Nothing Bundt Cakes

For our hot chocolate toppings, we had chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, marshmallows, whip cream and peppermints.

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Hot Chocolate in the crock pot.


Our guests getting their toppings!

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Pretty proud of the mini birthday banner.

IMG_1650Singing happy birthday to sweet Devin! (and a semi-flattering picture of me!)


He really wasn’t sure what to think!


I love this precious little boy!


Gifts were fun but the people were better!


He put on a show for everyone: walking!

It was a great party. Devin felt loved. The kids played and the adults talked. I loved having people in our home*

We had party favors but I forgot to get pictures. The adults received coffee mugs with a packet of hot chocolate, marshmallows and a peppermint. The kids got a color your own mug I picked up at Hobby Lobby.

Note to self: Must do this more often than just birthdays. 


Dom is 5!

I’ve heard it said about life, more specifically in regards to raising children the cautionary advice: “Don’t Blink!”

Daddy loves Dominic
Daddy loves Dominic

Today we celebrate the glorious and long awaited arrival of our eldest which took place five years ago. How could it be five years? 1,826 days have passed since our little guy took his first breath and I saw him for the first time after 42 weeks, yes 42 weeks, of having him near to my heart.

Our new family
Our new family

He has not left my heart, however, he is as the saying goes just my heart living on the outside.

Our little Linus
Our little Linus

Even with 2 additional beautiful babies my heart has not divided but rather multiplied in size and affection for him. Dominic our gift “from the Lord” bestowed upon us the most honorable title of mommy and daddy.


dom for fairy tale dayHe has taught us the joy of embracing a new day. He has raised us as much as we have raised him. He is smart, passionate about life and so thought-ful. His memory reminds me of my own once upon a time before children. His laughter can sweeten even the most sour of moods.


Dominic Truth,

The one who seeks to understand…who treasures God’s word more than any other book on our shelf. Little man who challenges me daily to live my life to the full. We pray that you will continue to place your trust in Jesus. We pray that others will see Christ’s love radiating from within you and will fall in step with your exuberant quest to know Christ and make him known in the world.




wear your goggles

I am so thankful that God chose you to be our son, our first born, our introduction to parenting. May you always see goodness, crave learning, build others up and embrace life with a contagious enthusiasm.


Happy 5th Birthday Dom.

We love you!

Mommy and Daddy


blessings 2


It’s been a busy few years. In the past five years, Marshall and I have brought 3 beautiful children into the world. That’s a really cool thing. But also…3 kids in 5 years. Actually 3 kids in 4 years is better math as our youngest just turned 1 this month!

I’m tired. Marshall is tired. The kids are….bouncing off the walls.

I love being a mom. Marshall adores being a dad.

Unfortunately, being a parent means giving up quite a bit to take on these roles. At least that’s what Marshall and I have come to understand in the past few months. It took us almost 5 years to figure out that you can’t live like you did when you didn’t have kids when you do have kids. Profound huh? But we’ve tried to do so anyway. Marshall with cycling and work and volunteering and me with work and volunteering and just about anything I could convince someone to let me do.

Then our church did a series called Crazy Busy. Being on staff, I was privy to the coming series, and the book that inspired it. I started listening to the audio version while doing laundry one day. It took me a week to get through it but at the end I was convinced there were things in our lifestyle we needed to change.

When Marshall and I got married, he used to joke that we wouldn’t make the typical mistakes newlyweds make. No, we would make brand new never-attempted-before mistakes. This would make me so mad. Of course I knew we would make mistakes but I felt that if we paid enough attention to those who had gone before, if we were sponges and soaked up the wisdom and advice of others that we would make less mistakes and definitely not new mistakes! Alas 8 years later, we’ve made a ton of mistakes and ironically Marshall, in all his humor and wisdom, was right. We have made some pretty impressive mistakes. Even when we did the first born, type A, pros and cons lists and have made what we thought was a well thought out decision, we’ve looked back and saw the things we didn’t think through and often exclaimed: What were we thinking? Were we thinking?

I remember sitting in a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class a few months back. As we watched the video, Dave was remarking on how those with debt are attempting to maintain a lifestyle that they can’t afford. They are living like they don’t have debt except…they do have debt. Although he was speaking about finances, I realized that Marshall and I had been attempting to maintain a lifestyle that we can not afford either because we’ve been living like we don’t have three small children except…we do have three small children! 

Marshall and I talked about this and so began our adventure in learning to find and value margin. Remember we are list makers, planners, chart makers. Through many talks, dry erase board sessions, praying, more talking, more mistakes, lots of tears, reading another book called Addicted to Busy, we started scaling back our lives. We started owning the fact that we have three small children and they have certain needs and nap schedules and stimulation thresh-holds. It was hard. Giving up activities we love, giving up events we wanted to support through service, stepping down from my job. Very hard stuff. *

We are still scaling back. We are still learning when to say no. But the more we scale back, the more margin we have to do those things that really matter.

We want margin to love our children and each other well. We want margin to serve and give to the right causes with exuberance and joy. We are about 5 months in to this journey of simplifying. We make new mistakes often…that’s just how we are (I think it’s funny most of the time). Thankfully, we are also learning to create some boundaries that are helping us to enjoy our children and each other. We are learning to love others well instead of living in the hurried frenzy where nothing gets done and good intentions sadly stay only good intentions.  Saying no to good opportunities is hard but as we learn to say no, we gain the ability to say yes to the right things.

This year we look forward to margin. Room to do and room to just be.








*some of the things we’ve scaled back on, we hope to add back in time in reasonable doses, but for now we will embrace our lives filled with the precious demands of littles


Making Beautiful Day Nine {Trust}

My son Dominic is a pretty phenomenal kid. I see a lot of me in him. I see a lot of his daddy in him. Some of that is good and some of that is not so good.

More than anything I hope that as Dom grows and matures that regardless of who he favors physically, what talents and abilities he has, and the type of personality that continues to emerge that he will love Jesus with everything that is within him.

Fortunately and unfortunately that is not up to me. I can be a good example. I can talk about God and read the Bible to him and in front of him. I can quote scriptures like “be kind and loving to each other and forgive as Jesus forgave you” until I am a proverbial shade of indigo but I can’t make Dom love Jesus. I can’t make him surrender his life to Christ. I can’t persuade any of my children to follow Christ.

I have to rely on the Holy Spirit to draw my children to Himself. I have to pray and depend on God to move their hearts. And I have to trust that as my husband and I raise our children that they witness first hand the goodness of God.

I have experienced His goodness. It’s why I’m convinced without reservation that no one can come to the father except through Christ. It’s why I know that I know that I know that every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

We are teaching our children to pray. This has been such an incredibly neat experience for me. We started by praying for our children. After that we moved to encouraging our eldest to “repeat after me”. For a season Dom did not want to pray and so we regressed back to praying for him. And then we moved on to singing our prayers. And then suddenly, Dom is praying from the heart these beautiful prayers that he ‘thought up’ himself. And I find him tucked away praying silently for this or that. He’s asking to read specific Bible stories because they hold a special meaning to him. In small ways, he’s beginning to experience the goodness of God by communicating with his creator.

I’m amazed as I watch something begin to happen inside of him. Will he follow Christ? Oh how I pray he continues to own his faith and surrender his life completely to the calling God has on his life but I can’t control that.

As my mom prayed for me and my brother, I now pray for my precious children. I work hard to be that witness that compels them to Christ…but I must trust that the Holy Spirit will do his job. And of course He will… in a more amazing way than I could ever imagine.


Making Beautiful Day 8 {Purple}

He has my heart!

I love my baby boy. When he smiles, his entire face smiles. I feel like even his eyes smile. His laugh is so joyful. And his toothy grin melts me.

His cry, however, is gut wrenching like fingernails on the chalkboard.

One day, when he was feeling the upset/angry emotion, he started crying. Has your child ever started crying and then got silent before crying even louder? Just like the gap between lightning and thunder the longer the gap the bigger and crazier the tears that follow will be when they start crying again. Well, my Devin had a really long gap…and as I now know…during that gap he was holding his breath….to the point that he almost passed out.

It was a scary moment. The time my child almost turned purple all because he was upset.

Reminds me of the oxygen mask speech we hear every time we fly. “In the event of an emergency, please secure your oxygen mask before taking care of your child or dependent.”

My sweet baby boy, who feels so extravagantly, was so focused on his anger that he forgot to breathe. Whoa!

But how often do we do the same thing? We get caught up in whatever seems more important that we fail to care for ourselves. To breathe in and out. To put that oxygen mask on before worrying about our to-do list.

Mommies, especially, are guilty of this “caring for others and if there happens to be any leftovers, steal a few moments for ourselves” way of living. Unfortunately we forget that we can’t give what we don’t have.

I’m learning to take care of me. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when I do take care of me, I can do a much better job of taking care of my family and showing love to those that mean the world to me.



Photo Credit: Captured Photography by Emily