A Birthday Ditty for my Jesus

We love birthdays around our house. We party big. We talk love. During birthday dinners, we always go around the table and share what we love about that person. For Christmas this year, I decided to do that in poem form for Jesus. I read it out loud at our Christmas meal and cried – just like I cry at every birthday. In fact, our littlest runs to get a box of tissues before I even start speaking about the things I love. I don’t know why I can’t keep it together, it is what it is.

So here is my poem for Jesus. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Lord.

It’s so different than it used to be,

this love that fills my heart

This sense of joy and connection

from which I never want to part.


Religion was once a boring pursuit

A duty to gravely tend to

One I soon easily abandoned

When I couldn’t measure up to you.


Like a little kid tired of the rules

I filled my backpack and hit the road

I did what I wanted, oh what I wanted

Those nasty rules did I unload


I’m not sure I saw it coming

The traps the enemy carefully laid for me

Trying to get me caught in addiction

to love, to attention, to me.


Nothing was ever enough

as I pursued value everywhere else

Looking for the world to tell me good

until I came to the end of myself


You were there, as you’d been all along

And you invited me to know you

You brought joyful people and passionate believers

Who lived the love they knew


They pointed me to your character

Your mercy, love and grace

They showed me your sense of humor

The smile on your face


They introduced me to your son

The one I’d thought was bound in rules

And I found a faithful friend and brother

Whose heart for people was his fuel.


You showed me your plan for life

To protect and free and guide

You showed me the love you live

By filling me up from the inside.


And as I’ve come to know your love

The grandest adventures you’ve brought my way

Fun people and joys, amazing pursuits

Beauty to capture every single day.


And there’s been heartaches, there’s been hurt

Pain that took my breath away

But instead of blaming you and yours

I fell into your arms to hear you say:


I’ve got you and I’ll never let you go

This world is broken, it’s true

But that’s why I sent my son

To bring hope, life and joy to you.


Comfort in the moment,

along with eternity in my sight

Just hold fast and let me see you through

Every wrong will I make right


And now I can see how you changed it

Changed it all by coming to earth

Entering into the most broken of places

to show us your love and our worth


You paved the way, you gave it all

to give us a home in your heart

And all we had to do was say yes

And believe in this beautiful new start.


It was never about the religion

The pious pinched and proud

It was always about you living love

thoroughly, completely, out loud.


So thank you for coming down to this earth

My beautiful savior and joy

Thank you for showing me your goodness

As you came to earth as baby boy.


Happy Birthday, my savior

My king, friend and best Christmas gift

May you hear the praises of many

And may this poem your heart lift


Because as I think of gifts to give

tor family, friends and guests

It’s you I want to thank the most

It’s your gift I want to be the best.


Because I love you more than life itself

I love you with tears, can’t see

I love you with all that I am…

Because, beautiful God, you first loved me

I’m so stinkin’ offended!

No, not by Santa in Rudolph – although I can agree with the recent news blitz that Santa needed a bit more sugar to sweeten up his sour.

And no, not by Charlie Brown – though that single hair on his bald little head does offend my sensibilities – and yes, in seriousness, as a mother of Haitian children, I wish Franklin had a buddy and a decent chair at the Thanksgiving table.

But my offense has been longer term – and landed me in a dark place – because simmering under the surface of my smile, I just didn’t get it. I was offended.

By God.

See, I didn’t understand why I had to be so different. Tall, awkward, heavy, pigeon-toed. Last name that essentially begged for a good joke – Kok. Middle school was horrific – particularly on the day I made a fashion statement by wearing a skirt and boy’s tube socks. Yes, I did that. Worse, I thought it was a good idea.

Later on I was angry about my broken marriage. It was painful and heartbreaking. I hated that I went through a divorce. Why me? Why was I a single parent when all my family members were happily married?

When my dad went sailing and his boat came home without him, I wrestled with a ton of questions. He had drowned. No goodbye. No answers. And then adding heartbreak to heartbreak, my strong, handsome nephew lost his life in a car accident 12 days later.

And the day our initial domestic adoption fell through – that dark Thursday when the baby was born and his mom gave him to another family. My heart was sick. I didn’t get it. Why? And when it took four long years to bring our babies home from Haiti, I was confused. It seemed wrong that they had to wait so long to know our hugs, snuggles and kisses. What was happening?

God didn’t see fit to follow my timeline, to preserve my heart the way I wanted him to. 

And in different seasons, in different quiet moments, I was offended.

I know I’m not alone.

I’ve heard your stories. I know many of your heartaches. Your road hasn’t been easy either. And we question the one who could fix it all in a moment’s notice – and yet doesn’t.

This morning I was reading in Luke. John the Baptist – a faithful man who paved the way for Jesus – was in prison. He had heard that Jesus was on the scene – the one he had been talking about for years, the one he leapt for in his own mother’s womb. And he had to wonder, Why I am I still in prison? Why hasn’t he come for me? He sends a few of his disciples to talk to him. “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” Kind of like, hey, if you’re the one, why haven’t you rescued John? And Jesus tells them to pass along a message to John. “Tell John what you have seen. The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed…” in other words, good things are happening. I am here. He finishes by saying “And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

I imagine him saying that with tender eyes and a strong compelling voice. Tell John not to be offended. Hold fast. Hang tight. It’s not the end of the story. Then when the messengers are gone, Jesus goes on to tell the crowd how wonderful John is… of his faithfulness.

He is proud of him. He loves him.

Then why on earth would he leave him in prison? Why would he leave any of his kids – you and me – in yucky situations?

Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.

We live in a world of offense. We live in a world of pain. We live in a world where racism, cruelty, bullying and hatred exist. We live in a world with evil in it – and it always seems to surprise us. That in itself should be evidence of our God and his goodness. We weren’t built for this. We were built for a far better world where love reigns and joy resides. We are offended because we were made for more and the evil blindsides us. 

Jesus asks us to lay down our offense. At him, at each other. Why? Because the story isn’t over yet. Because he wins. Because every wrong will be righted. He calls us to love him and love others deeply – to fight the offense with love. To see his goodness even when we are sitting in a prison cell. And I can see it. When I look back at the heartbreaks, I can see his goodness in it. How my awkward self and my pigeon toes were a temporary phase, not an identity, and how those painful years created in me a tender heart for the outcast. How he molded me and kept me and provided for me as a single mom. How he comforted me in my sadness over the loss of my dad and nephew. I see how the one failed adoption led to the four beautiful babies residing in our home today. And John the Baptist, sitting in that prison cell? Oh friends, I bet those days are long forgotten as John enjoys his saviors love and all the sweetness of heaven. Even his days in prison were not wasted – as we can all look to him and be encouraged in our own sorrows.

What’s even more amazing? Jesus put himself smack into the middle of offense. He lived, breathed and died love – and yet he was mocked, beaten, abandoned and killed. Did he rise up and fight the offense? Smite the offenders? He could have. But he didn’t. Instead he laid down his life, asked God to forgive those who were nailing him to a cross “for they know not what they do.”

Well shoot. That makes my offenses pale in comparison. At God – Jesus didn’t exempt himself from the heartbreak we all endure. At others – He loved the worst. Can I do the same?

Oh friends, as we trust him, as we love through offense – even though our ears may not hear it now – he is bragging about us. Just as he did with John. Only he is talking to the angels. “Look at her…” “Look at him…” “She is a bright light in this dark world. I love how she loves.” “He is a strong warrior for me – he is my beloved son.”

Yes, there is offense – and lots to be offended by… but hold fast. Hang tight. It’s not the end of the story. “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Trust him. Love God. Love others. He will make all things right, in his time.

And oh, what a day that will be.

A Life in 50 Words.

I’ve been alive 50 years today. These fifty words sum up my wild ride:

Decade one (1-10): Innocent, family girl, adventurer, brave, water-skier, cliff-diver, boy crazy, tomboy.

Decade two (11-20): Insecure, awkward, foolish, bookworm, boy crazy, biker babe, self-conscious, self-defeating.

Decade three (21-30): Married, divorced, mother, broken, lost, found, grace, hope, author, speaker.

Decade four (31-40): Single mom, faith-driven, dreamer, hopeful, passionate, married, step-mom, empty nester.

Decade five (41-50): Communicator, swimmer, adoptive mom to one… two… three… four… wife, daughter, friend, adventurer, God crazy, woman.

Thank you for loving me strong for five decades, Jesus. You loved me as much when I was that naughty teenager as you do today (as a sometimes-naughty 50 year old). This life is all about you and I can’t imagine how it would have gone without you, Thank you, thank you, thank you for never letting me go.


I blew it.


I get it wrong.

I get it wrong a lot.

No, I don’t have a self-esteem issue. I’m not fishing for compliments to build myself up. I’m just telling you the flat out truth.

I mess up all the time.

Sure, I write about heartwarming parenting moments. I talk about those times I say just the right thing (thank you, Jesus!) and a little one gets it. I share goofy, fun glimpses into our chaotic world.

But those last all of about five minutes.

The other 23 hours and 55 minutes of the day, I run three paces behind where I should be.

I have piles upon piles of disorganized chaos everywhere. In my bedroom, in the kid’s bedrooms, in the bathroom, tucked behind the couch. I keep committing to a day, a week, a month of getting it all organized but if I’m realistic, that day won’t come until Savannah graduates in 2031 (or so).

I forget birthdays. I overlook important people and space out on simple requests. I don’t take enough time with my man, my bigs, my littles, my mom, my dearest friends. It takes me 23 days to respond to simple texts requiring a one word answer. I drop the ball on my quiet times and blow the budget because… well, preparing the budget is one of those items on my endless to do list. I don’t do the follow up therapy with Lovence, all the homework with Wilna, the ABC’s with Laurentz and Savannah. I keep planning the trip to the library and hope to set aside a nightly reading time and work on cute art projects. It just hasn’t happened yet.

So we have no cool Dr. Suess memories and zero cute art in our home. (Except of course, the art my mom does with the kids – that stuff rocks).

Yesterday I overheard some parents at Savannah’s gymnastics class. They were talking about forcing their kids to sit quietly for an hour so they could take a nap. They looked young and capable and energetic. If they need a nap… my nearly 50 year old body said to me, you should definitely take one.

So I did. I went home with Savannah after class, I told her we were going to have some cuddle time. We both fell asleep and I savored the feel of her warm little body next to mine.

The dishes stayed undone.

The bills stayed unpaid.

Friends, when I get out of bed every morning, I fall on my knees and beg God to live, love and serve through me.

He does. But even God has limits with what he can do with this crochety old body.

This season of life, my kids and their unique needs, the meltdowns, the chaos, the laughter, the noise… I literally could not do it without him, and even so, still mess up with him.

There is a lot that stays undone.

And that’s why I’m writing this – first, may this serve as a blanket apology for the ways in which I may have let any of you down. I don’t mean to, I will get better – yeah, not really. I probably won’t get better – I just ask for your forgiveness. And for those who think I’m a little unrealistic on my warm fuzzy posts, just know that in the midst of my chaos – I need to write them. I need to focus on the good, highlight the joyful. I love to celebrate those sweet, beautiful moments – and thank God for them – because that sustains me in the midst of the meltdowns, the weariness and the weakness.

Because the beauty makes it all worthwhile.

And in that beauty I see our God.

Who loves me. Who loves you.

I may not be enough.

But he is.

And he will ultimately see us through it all.

Don’t Mess With My Boy!

It happens nearly every time I give the boys a bath.

Lovence and Laurentz spend 30 minutes laughing, splashing and playing make believe – Laurentz lines up his plastic animals and squirts them with water, Lovence takes his toy trucks and gives them a thorough washing before driving them up and down the edge of the tub. Then we condition hair, wash up all the important parts and they climb out of the tub, one at a time, to get on lotion and jammies.

I’m not sure why it happens then, maybe because Lovence (our non-verbal, special needs son) feels safe in that vulnerable moment, but it’s then that he will hit the counter and then look at me. It’s the same thing, the same routine every time.

He hits the counter. He shakes his hand and scowls, pretending he’s hurt, “Ow!”

I look at the counter and sternly reprimand it. “Don’t you do that! Don’t mess with my boy!”

Lovence laughs his deep belly laugh. We both look at the counter and then he nearly says it. “Gettouttahere!” as he points in the other direction. “Get out of here!” I say. “Don’t ever hurt my boy again!”

Lovence smiles and wraps his arms around me, burying his head in my shoulder.

Then again.

Smack the counter. “Ow…” in his low guttural voice.

I jump in. “Hey counter, stop it! Don’t mess with my boy!”

Laugh, laugh, laugh.

“Getouttahere!” He says.

“Yeah, get out of here!” I say.

Laugh, laugh, laugh. Bury head in my shoulder.


It brings tears to my eyes. Lovence has known trauma. He’s been hurt in ways I can’t begin to imagine. And in those little moments after bath time, in those sweet connections, I am there in his memories. I’m stepping in and saying “No! Don’t you dare mess with my boy!”

And he is grateful.

While I am humbled.

I remember my mom talking with someone who had experienced huge trauma in her childhood. “Take Jesus back to that memory. Imagine him there. What would he have done?”

“He would have taken me by the hand and got me out of there,” She said in a trembling voice, “He would have brought me to a safe place.”

“Can you let him do that now?” My mom said. “Let him take that little girl out of that pain, away from that memory. He will ultimately make all things right, He will exact justice. But will you let him take you by the hand and make it right for you now?”

Because He does that with us. “Ow…” our hearts say. Low, Gutteral. Hurt.

“Get out of here!” He says. To the pain, to the loss, to the abuser, to the destructive memories. And He wraps his arms around us.

And our healing comes. Because our defender is near. We tuck our head into his shoulder.

And finally, we laugh.

Don’t Say goodbye. A post for the heartbroken.

I saw you today.

Your head was bowed, your shoulders slumped, your eyes to the ground. Your backpack looked like it weighted a thousand pounds.

You crossed in front of my car at a stoplight – your shuffling steps made me wonder.

Is your heart broken?

Who hurt you?

Why are you so sad?

The light turned green and I drove away. But I haven’t forgotten you. I wonder if you are still sad. I wonder what has gone through your head. I wonder, have you thought of ending it all?


It’s entered my world recently in different ways. An old friend, a distant family member, a local high school student. a loved one who considered it just recently.

Oh God, please don’t.

Please don’t go. Please don’t say goodbye.

I watched a show that’s been popular among teens – just to try to understand. Thirteen Reasons Why. In it a high school girl takes her own life and then leaves behind cassette tapes implicating her friends for her death. I might have loved that show as a teen. I may have thought there was something poetic about it. After all, she gets back at all those who have hurt her by laying the guilt at their doorstep. Not only is she free from pain, she has exacted revenge on those responsible.

But she’s still gone.


Never to experience her real first love, the joy of climbing a mountain, the exhilaration in conquering a fear and beating her depression. Never to hold a child, a grandchild, a great grandchild. Never to swim in the ocean, taste homemade ice cream, laugh till her belly hurts… ever again.

There is nothing poetic about suicide. It robs life. It’s based on lies. It takes light and hope from the world and from far too many lives.

But the feelings are real, aren’t they? The depression so deep it can feel impossible to ever surface from it. The lies run rampant, choking hope from the best fighters, the most valiant ones. And they let go, thinking that’s the best and only option.

But it’s just not true.

Let’s look at it.

Lie number one: They will be better off without me.

No. They won’t. They would much rather have a broken you, then no you at all. Your kids, your family, your friends. You are not a burden, a mistake, a weight. You are hurting, yes. Maybe you’ve been hurting for a long time – but they still need you. They need your presence. Your touch. Your light. They need to see you fight so they will fight. They need you to do whatever it takes to find help, fight for hope, believe in a future. The best scenario is you paving the way to healing so they can do the same.

But she left me. 

But he left me. 

Yes, maybe the important someones have walked out of your life. That does not mean everyone will. Maybe the people who were supposed to stand with you and believe in you failed in every way. That does not mean you shouldn’t stand, walk and believe for yourself. You were created. You have a purpose The greatest tragedy would be if you ended your life before you got to see the good you have to give – the good you were designed for, the good you’ll receive in return. No one is ever better off without you. They are only better off with you fighting, never giving up, believing there is hope. Please, please don’t give up.

Be that one. Be the one who fights. Don’t give up. Don’t say goodbye.

Lie number two: As in Thirteen Reasons, I will make them suffer for not being kind to me.

Ill show them. They’ll be sorry they didn’t _______________fill in the blank (love me, see me, accept me). Or They’ll be sorry they ________________ fill in the blank (were cruel, didn’t accept me, bullied me).

They may. They may be sorry, and they may not. You will never know. There’s no poetic justice in taking your own life to get back at those who have let you down. If they have let you down in life, they will let you down in death. Their expected reactions will be different than you hope for, their responses not poetic at all. Just real. Broken. Human. Unique to who they are. Some tender, some uncaring, some sorrowful, some not. But you will never know. 

It’s a lie. A big fat lie that taking your life is somehow the perfect revenge. The perfect revenge is actually living your life, fighting for hope, becoming that person who leaves depression in the dust to find purpose, strength, love and beauty. And that is both possible and doable. There are scores who have done it – who were once suicidal and now full of life. Who once knew heartache, and now stand strong. It is possible, and it is possible for you.

Lie number three: I just can’t do it anymore.

Getting up. Taking another breath. Facing another bill, another angry word, another broken relationship, another painful memory. It’s just too hard and you want to give up.

My mother lost hope. When I was young, she lost hope as PTSD took over her world. She had been imprisoned in a concentration camp as a child. She experienced torture, abuse, starvation. When the memories, nightmares, flashbacks started invading her every sleeping and waking moment, she wanted to end it all. She wanted to quit. Be done. It was all too much.

She didn’t do it. But the ache didn’t just go away. She sought counseling, sought God, worked to forgive. She had dark days and darker nights. She let people in when she wanted to shut them out. She believed God would help her when nothing seemed to point to that truth. And ultimately, through time, love, prayer, hope, she was healed.

And generations are different as a result.

We have no idea how much suicide will ripple through and impact lives around us. Even more so, how much staying, fighting, living, healing – will influence generations with hope and life. Yes, it’s the hardest thing you will ever do. But it’s so worth it. If my mom had chosen suicide, how different my world would have been. Ask every broken heart who has lost a loved one to suicide. What they would give to have that life back – that smile, even in pain. Those eyes, even with tears. That voice, even in heartache. Choosing death ends hope. In choosing life, in fighting the good fight, you can radically change generations for the good.

Lie number four: There’s no way out.

There’s no way I can beat this addiction, this pain, this loneliness, this feeling. It’s just too much. I’ve tried everything and nothing works.


No, not religion.


Don’t tune me out. It’s not a pat answer. It’s not a religious fix that simply sounds good. It is a HE who loves YOU.

Think of the kindest person you’ve ever met. Do it. Think of him. Think of her. The eyes, the smile, the tenderness. Multiply that by a million and you have Jesus.

Think of the strongest person you’ve ever known or heard about. Got him? See her in your mind? The tenacity, the endurance, the passion and courage. The fight-for-it kind of attitude. That’s Jesus, times a million. Only he focuses all that strength into fighting for you. YOU. He’ll do it. He wants to. It’s who he is.

Yeah, but a lot of Christians are jerks, we think. They’re part of the problem! I get it. Some of us are not very smart. We get it wrong. Holding up signs of everything we’re against and forgetting that God is FOR people. He loves. He saves. He corrects in loving truth. He fights. He will never abandon… HE WILL HEAL.

Jesus literally went through it all – rejection, loss, grief, pain. He lost it all. People who loved him left him. People who hated him wanted him dead. Not just dead. Dead by the cruelest of means. He never did anything wrong and yet he lost it all. He gets pain more than any other human. The tears he cried before his death were so intense, blood mingled with them. He gave his life – not for the perfect human who gets it right. For you. For me. To give us a way to hope. He took it all on his shoulders so we wouldn’t have to. And he fixes things. He doesn’t fix things by looking at you and saying “Buck up – pull it together!” He doesn’t shame you. He takes it. He does it. The only thing we have to do is be with him. Sit with him. What does that look like? Be still. Ask him to help you have faith. Choose to believe. Let him love you. Ask him to show you his love. Then look and see. Take that sunset personally, that song, the flower to heart. That’s his voice, his light in the darkness. He will change you. He will bring hope. He will take the depression and replace it with life. Not overnight – because he is doing something in the healing. He will use people, strong, safe people who will walk with you. They are out there. Ask him to help you find them and then seek them out. He will use resources – books, groups, studies, to educate you on addiction, abuse, depression. He can use medication to help mediate chemical issues in your brain. He can and will help because He loves you. I know this because I’ve seen it. Over and over again. in my own life. in other lives. He is real and He changes it all.

Maybe you don’t know what to pray, how to pray, what step to take next. I don’t know if I can, but I so want to help. Will you share your story with me? Trust me with your pain? I can’t fix it. I can’t offer advice, but I can help you pray. Tell me what you’ve been going through and I will do my very best to pen a prayer for you to pray. Would you let me do that for you? I don’t want you to leave this world. I don’t want you to say goodbye. I don’t want you to go.

Chester Bennington, from Linkin Park, sang a song called “One More Light” in honor of a friend he lost.

Not too long after that, Chester took his own life. What a heartbreak!

The lyrics still haunt me.

If they say

who cares if one more light goes out?

In a sky of a million stars

It flicker, flickers

Who cares when someone’s time runs out?

If a moment is all we are

We’re quicker, quicker

Who cares if one more light goes out?

Well I do….


Well friends, I do.

I care if your light goes out.

Your life matters. 

Please don’t say goodbye.

And so if this blog post didn’t convince you, will you write to me and let me send a prayer back? Then please just promise me you’ll pray that prayer every day. It’s not magic, not at all. It’s just words. But I’m hoping they will be words that will connect you to the one who made you and loves you beyond all words.

If I can do this one small thing for you, I’d be so honored. Please send a note to prayerforhope@outlook.com.

Finally, if I haven’t convinced you that suicide is not the answer to your problems, please reach out for help. Contact a pastor or counselor right away. You can also call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Someone there will always answer the phone and be ready to listen.

This blog is dedicated to the families of Aaron, Lisa, Richard, Alex… I think of you so often. And this is for those who are still fighting. You know who you are….

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Child, Look at Me Now!

My children don’t like to look at me when I’m angry with them. It could be for good reason. Maybe the way my hair stands on end or my lips form that thin angry line freaks them out. Or maybe it’s how my dimples disappear and my voice goes all deep and parental.

Whatever it is, they bury their faces – in their arms, a pillow, my leg, and they refuse to look up.

“Look at me,” I’ll say, trying to keep my voice gentle. “Look at me, babe.”

A quick glance, then they dodge their head again.

“Come on, look me in the eyes.”

Another quick glance to turn away.

I take a deep breath, make my voice as soft as I can and say, “Honey, do you know why I want you to look at me?”

They know the routine. We’ve done this script a hundred times. Usually, though, it still takes a a little while for them to answer.

“Why do I want you to look at me?” I ask.

Depending on the child, they dodge it in their own way.

“I don’t know.”

“I know, but I still don’t want to.”

“Because you’re mean.”


I wait. I look. I ask God to give them eyes to see. Eventually they raise their eyes to mine. Some with a grimace, some with worry, some with the start of a smile they just can’t fight.

“What do you see?”

A grumble, a murmur, a slight smile. “Love, Mom. I see love.”

Then I start my mama lecture they could probably quote themselves. “That’s exactly right. I’m angry with you right now, but I want you to look me in the eyes because you have to see the love. I love you. I will never stop loving you. There is nothing you can say or do to make me stop loving you. I’m angry now, but I love you even as I’m angry. Do you get that? Do you know it?”

They know to respond or I’ll spend another good 20 minutes on it. “Yes, Mom, I get it.”

They want to stay mad. They fight to be angry. But the love softens them, softens me.

Right now I sit at a table on a personal retreat, taking some time with Jesus. I journaled this morning, read and came up with four things I really want to do better (the list is much longer, but I had to start somewhere) – as I was really diving in, I felt a whisper to my heart.

“Look at me.”

I sat still for just a moment and then went right back to fixing myself.

‘Look at me, Elsa.”

I looked. I sat. I wrote about his love. I cried. He loves me. He really loves me. When I sit in it, really sit in it, it softens me, melts me, changes me – fixes me.

And not just me.

He loves you. He really loves you. Look at him. Look now. Not just a quick glance to bury your head in your arm, in your life, in your busyness, in your fixing. Really look – and you’ll see it.


Look, friend. Look now.

Psalm 121:1 I lift my eyes to the hills from where my help comes…

Psalm 3:3 But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, and the lifter of my head.

Psalm 36:5 Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

A week ago, Wilna and I had a rough spot. Intense words. Power struggle. We took it upstairs to the bedroom. I was so angry, my hands were shaking. She was too. I sat her on the bed. I had to do something or there was no way I was going to handle it well. “Wait here, I need to talk to Jesus before I talk to you.” I said it sharply. I went to the closet. Took ten deep breaths. Could barely get out a prayer. “Jesus, help. I need you. Speak through me. Give me words. Help me.”

Ten more deep breaths and I went back to the bedroom. I laid down beside her and started our routine. “Look at me, Wilna. Look at me, babe.”

A quick glance, then away.

“Look at me right now.” Another glance. “What do you see, babe?”

“I don’t know.” Sullen. Angry.

“Look again.”

She looked, then buried her head into the pillow. “What did you see?”

Tears. “Jesus.”

My breath caught. Tears came to my own eyes. Could it be?

I can count a million parenting moments I looked nothing like him… this, this is what I long for all the time.

Oh God, may it be so. May I look to you, may we all look to you – so that even when we’re angry, even when life falls apart, even when we feel like we are going to lose it… may we look at you, feel your love, sit in your love, hold fast to you – so when others look, they see love. Even more, that they see you. 




Oh, and friends, I will continue introducing the kiddos over the next few posts. I had to interrupt that process to share this one. I’ve introduced Wilna, Samantha, Lovence, Cassandra, and Laurentz – three more to go!