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I’m sitting at my computer with a website open that I can only look at briefly, before clicking over to another page – like this one.

I’m getting ready to order a cross that will be placed  on the highway at the site of the accident. I want to order it, but typing Kalkidan’s name and dates in the order form makes me feel nauseated and tearful.

Last night I talked with Russ about ordering the cross. Literally as I was speaking, I could hear another part of my brain saying to me, “I can’t believe I’m having this conversation. I can’t believe I have a child who died. I shouldn’t need to order a cross….”

Lance review W As we ramp up toward the school year, I’m thinking about lunch boxes, backpacks, school supplies, and the task of packing lunches and snacks. How about you? I was given the opportunity to review Lance Sandwich Crackers which seemed like a great fit for our family, so I agreed. I’m always on the lookout for healthy foods to tuck in the kids’ backpacks for them to grab during recess or before the bus ride home. On our painfully long trip home from Whidbey Island, we stopped at a store and picked up four varieties of Lance Sandwich Crackers, which we sampled as we continued down the highway.


Today’s question is from Bonnie who asks,

Well-meaning people, without asking us first, from church, doctor’s offices, or family, give gifts or food to our kids from Haiti (we have never had this with our two older adopted girls, and they feel snubbed sometimes).  Some of these gifts are inappropriate for their developmental abilities and we are caught having to be the “bad guys” and take them away.

Any ideas?


How did it happen that more than a month passed without a simple Sunday Gratitude post? Our weekends have been packed, and the hours have flown by so quickly. Despite the lack of posts, I am deeply grateful to God for many good gifts in my life.

We’re ridiculously blessed – sitting here in my dining room, looking out the windows, it’s clear that we are surrounded by beauty and abundance. Focusing on gratitude, even in the midst of suffering, perhaps especially in the midst of suffering, is essential for me. Thanks for being my witnesses.

giving thanks #1681 – 1690

Russ and I both home all weekend – the first time in ages

Kalkidan painting

I was sitting in a middle seat, fighting air sickness, the bane of my travel existence. I put in my earbuds, hit play, and a worship song began streaming into my ears that I had never really listened closely to before.

On the day when I see
All that You have for me
When I see You face to face
There surrounded by Your grace

All my fears swept away
In the light of Your embrace
Where Your love is all I need
and forever I am free

Kalkidan – she is free. I could almost see her, light, joyful. Tears began trickling down my cheeks.

Beauty reminds me of God's good gifts.

Beauty reminds me of God’s good gifts.

I’ve been thinking about how blogging is different from most other forms of writing; it’s essentially a collection of public rough drafts. When I’m churning out content several times a week, I don’t have the luxury of editing much, or having somebody read every post before I click “publish.”

Maybe it’s a good thing, you get a less edited version of me – a more authentic version, sometimes with errors included. I still laugh about the day Russ called me from his office to tell me that I had a split infinitive in my blog post. I have too many smart people in my family.


I sat behind this truck at a stoplight in Seattle. The bumper sticker cracked me up.

The words on the back of this truck made me laugh.

Alrighty then, I just got word that there was a technical problem with the advertising campaign that was launched today, and all participating bloggers needed to take the posts down. That’s never happened before!

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Thank you to everyone who commented on Four Tips for Better Sleep. I’m not alone! I struggle with sleep, and it’s easy to feel like I’m the only one who is up in the middle of the night feeling miserable. Apparently there are quite a few of us.

My doctor explained to me that there are three phases in the process of waking: Asleep, Aware, Awake.

This understanding helps me get more sleep. Now I recognize when I’m just beginning to become aware. My eyes may not be open yet, and I’m still in a very restful state. If I can resist the urge to begin actively thinking about anything specific, and if I can avoid moving too much, getting up to go to the bathroom, or even looking at the clock, I can often drift back down into sleep.

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We know it’s important to get enough sleep for our health and well being, yet many of us struggle to sleep well. I’ve read about sleep, talked with my doctor, taken medication, and monitored my sleep with apps on my phone. These are the keys I’ve found for good sleep – maybe they will help you too.

1. Establish a Bedtime Routine

I start preparing for a good night of sleep just about the time we finish cleaning up dinner. We set up the coffee maker and tidy the house. I put my computer and any books I need in my quiet spot in our living room where I spend the early hours of the morning.

I resist the urge to watch a show or work on my computer, because even when I’m very tired, I’m tempted to stay awake much later than when I read a book. 

windfall pass

Last week I wrote about my fear of driving past the site of the accident; thank you for extending grace to me as I process my grief.  I was carried by your prayers and the Lord met me in such a sweet and powerful way.

My plan was to go a new route in order to avoid the curve in the road that changed our lives forever. As Russ left for work, he pulled me close, wrapped me tightly in his arms and prayed over me. I was ready.

I headed north on Highway 95, thinking about the roads I always take and how well I know them. I wished I could go that way, but I needed to protect myself from seeing that fearful place.

Soon I was at the turn-off for the new route, and I surprised myself by going right by. I could have changed my course, but in those brief seconds, I didn’t. I’m not sure why. I drove on, my mind racing as details of the accident surfaced.

I prayed continually as the miles went by; I told the Lord that I was afraid. In a rare moment of clarity, he spoke deeply into my heart, “I was there.”