Thursday, February 25, 2010


i didn't know if you knew it or not. but todd and i are so in love with the dimples that kiss these cheeks. and we're so in love with the heart that says things like "i'm Loralai like Jesus." and we're so in love with those big brown eyes and the killer long eyelashes that blink and melt our hearts. and those hands. they stroke our cheeks as she says "aaawww, it's ok mommy. you ok?" the tenderness that comes from this little one. it's heavenly. but the laugh. the giggle. the happy Loralai hour. the energy that bounds from her bod. much as i'd love to take credit for who she is. there's no other explanation for the uniqueness of her creation than the Creator Himself. it was only He that could fashion something so precious to fill our lives with such joy. oh the love.

Monday, February 22, 2010

she said.

on the way to church, listening to music, Loralai said, "what they singing about mommy?" i said, "they're singing about jesus. they're singing praises to him." she said, "to my Jesus."

then i asked her, "who is Jesus?" she said, "Jesus is God...i love Jesus and God."

this afternoon before naptime, she was in her room, sitting on this comfy green chair where she cuddles up to read her books. i overheard her reading and so i stood at her doorway and listened. and this is what she was reading, "in the be-ninning God made the earth. in the be-ninning God made the earth. in the be-ninning God made everything."

and as we cuddled up to read a book before her nap, we prayed. and i thanked God that He would bless me with these moments and these minutes and these days where i am given the privilege to pour His Word into my sweet one. when i'm able to rebuke her with love and correction and explain to her why we sit in our chair.

i never knew that a two year old could have a heart so hungry for God. but she does. the questions are natural and come often and the lady who keeps her during the day has all the time in the world to answer them. and i'm thankful to my husband for working his fingers to the bone so that our baby's keeper is her mama. i'm honored.

what a joy it is to go without a shower, to grocery shop greasy-haired, to sweep crumbs up, to wipe jelly-stained cheeks, to potty train, to wipe tears, to pick boogies, to laugh and dance and play dolls. i wouldn't trade a minute of this time for a day at the spa. not a minute.

Friday, February 19, 2010


that's my dad's name. and i find it a beautiful thing that God has given me the privilege to fight in prayer for another bill.

i lived in the triad of NC for about 4 years after college. and in that time, God landed me the most incredible job a girl could have ever imagined. at least this girl. i wanted to work in advertising, and the Lord showed me great mercy by letting me work for an agency full of men. and three other women. being outnumbered by men is interesting, to say the least. the conversation is almost always music, bodily functions, sports and any kind of joke at the expense of yours truly. all in good fun.

moving back to wilmington was exactly what i was supposed to do. but it seemed so unfair to have to leave that job. i don't know how to tell you how much i loved it. or maybe it was more the people i loved. because each one is/was so unique. it was there that i saw what it looked like to be a husband, a dad, a spiritual leader... i remember thinking that if i could ever find a man who was the combination of the men i worked with, then he would be perfect.

bill was the class clown. literally. sometimes you wanted to have a whipping stick to pop his knuckles in order to reign him in during a creative meeting. creative doesn't begin to describe him but it was the only title they could stick him under: creative director. when i think of bill, this is what i think of: a musician, a flirt, a word nerd, distracted and focused, strong, a mama's boy, a wealth of useless information, an eyebrow raiser, the best hugger, always finding a common ground to make you feel comfortable, one of the boys, excessive coffee drinker, night owl, a definite kid at heart.

hello dahling.

that's how he greeted me most often. i wish you could hear his voice. it's just...bill.

i remember being so thankful that i could shout "BILL" to a man and not want to take his name in vain. because at the time i was working with him, i hadn't forgiven my dad and held his name in real contempt. but to say this bill's name was easy. he made bill fun. he made bill likeable. he gave bill hope.

but this Bill, he's dying. a few months after i moved, he was officially diagnosed with colon cancer that metasticized. he's fought hard. it's been nearly 5 years. but the doctors say that his time is near.

i'd be lying to you if i felt relief for him. i don't. my spirit groans for him.

something happens when you follow Jesus. your heart becomes stronger because you depend on Him more but your heart also does something you never saw coming. it grieves sin desperately and cries out in huge ways when you see someone losing heart. losing hope. and you get mad. because you see the enemy setting up camp.

so let me tell you this. this girl. bill's daughter. i'm not after the enemy. he's nothing compared to my God. but i'm after this bill. i'm covering him in prayer. i'm asking the Holy Spirit to combat against the enemy until bill's heart softens enough to reach out to the hand that is calling him.

the Holy One. the one we cry out to, Abba Father, is calling bill.

and i COVET your prayers.

this world doesn't need bill. it doesn't need me. but i refuse to give up so that hell gets him. he was created by the living God and i'm asking that you pray with me so that it is He who looks into bill's eyes and lovingly says "welcome home Son."

pray with me. please.

the thing that bill doesn't realize is that he WANTS Jesus. he's just hiding behind the same pride that's denied the Lord for 50+ years.

there is no one like the Lord God Almighty. he is HOLY. HOLY. HOLY.

he is Creator, Perfector, Finisher, Almighty, Everlasting, Ever-present, Healer, Savior, Father. and if the enemy thinks he has anything on that, he ought to stand back and watch the King of Kings take a hold of a heart that he thought he had wrapped in the bag. cause it's on! there's an army of warriors praying for a man named bill.

because we're desperate to send our friend off and finally call him brother.

oh to be present and see him bear hug Jesus.

pray with us, won't you?

Thursday, February 18, 2010


i'm about to be the mother of two babes. and tomorrow, my firstborn will be two years old. wow. the combination is enough to make me weep on a non-hormonal day. but throw in the hormones and i've nearly cried all day. not sad tears. just tears of sweet overwhelming love.

today we went to the doctor - all four of us (i count the one in my womb as a whole being). and we heard our little one's heartbeat. woosh woosh. woosh woosh.

i didn't expect it to take my breath the way it did. and the tears that found their way into my eyes kind of surprised me. not that i'm not excited about this new baby. it's just that i've had less time to ponder over the new life inside of me, like i did with loralai. time is different now. what with the endless conversations that two year old offers, all the time we pretend cooking, reading books, playing outside, singing and dancing...time is just different. but when i pray, it's still the same.

i still ask the Lord to find favor with us and bless us with a healthy and hardy baby. i'm realizing more and more what a miracle life is. and having two lives to care for is even more amazing. God thinks that Todd and i should be parents to loralai and this new baby. that's just so sweet to me - especially because i think that loralai is one of God's sweeter creations ;)

today while at the doctor's office, loralai sweetened up one of the women on their staff. and that woman so generously gave loralai a 3 inch tall teddy bear that she had sitting on her desk. made miss nancy's (that's the woman) day and it definitely made loralai's day. she kept saying, "that lady gave me a little teddy bear." and then they gave her chocolate and sitckers. who knew.

later in the day, before nap time, loralai wouldn't eat lunch. not like her. and i asked her what was wrong; why was she crying. her response, "it's because i'm tired mommy." oh. simple enough.

so at naptime we took a little time out to pray and regroup. she was just out of sorts. and i asked her if she wanted to pray first. it never ceases to amaze me the the things that come out of her heart. she said this, "thank you God for mommy. amen. thank you God for daddy. amen. thank you God for the lady who gave me my teddy bear. amen." and that was enough. she laid her head on my chest and waited for me to read a book.

at two, she has a grateful heart. now to just keep fanning that fire and praise her for that sweetness. to see love overflow from your little one's heart makes you know, for certain, that God is doing a sweet work in her.

i can't wait to see how she prays for her baby brother/sister when they get here. i bet it will go something like "thank you God for our baby. please make it stop crying. amen." and i bet the dogs will concur.

today, sweet hugs from my one year old and a heart rejoicing to God for teddy bears.

tomorrow, happy birthday songs, chocolate chip pancakes and...who knows. it's going to be great!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

did you hear? we're having a baby.

and i haven't blogged in months. and it's actually been kind of nice. a lot of my thoughts have stayed with me and i think that's necessary sometimes. otherwise i think you can get to a point of just thinking up stuff to write about. it's useless words. so i've taken a little hiatus from blogging. and i'm not sure if i'm back for good. but i'm back for this post, at least.

so it's true. we're pregnant. or i am, anyway ;) and just like my pregnancy with loralai, i'm nauseated more hours of the day than not. but i'm just praying that in the next few weeks all of that will pass. our due date is september 2nd. and that's a pretty sweet thing. for a long time i really wasn't a fan of septembers. the laundry list is long and it might be a little indulgent to list all of the woes out - but let's just say that a lot of loss happened in september from the time i was about 18 until 26. and so i dreaded september. especially my birthday that falls on the sixth. it wasn't until after i got married that i had a friend try to make sweet memories on my birthday, that i started to enjoy it again. that friend is my husband. and he always does his best to make my birthday a relaxing time. and while i know that being happy about some things is just a plain choice, i'd be lying to you if i said that the old memories didn't creep in on my birthday. so sometimes it's just a choice to rebuke the old memories and consciously live in the new ones happening.

when we found out the due date of our new little one, i was so happy. finally september isn't a month to think of all those old woes. God's given me a sweet new gift that was already mine but He so graciously reminded me when He gave me this baby. it's hope renewed. restored. and maybe our baby won't be born in september - maybe it will be an august baby. but for the next six months, our eyes are fixed on september 2nd. and that is a beautiful thing. to think about a time that used to bring pain and to envision the glory that will unfold surrounding it...i just smile.

and loralai. well i asked her one night what we should name the baby (and no i won't reveal the baby's name. you won't know that until it's safely in my arms.) and she said that Potato would be a good name. aaah. Potato. what a sweet name.

and speaking of loralai. she turns two this coming friday. it seems like yesterday that i was crushing a plastic bedpan while trying to pee lying on my back during the midst of an induction. 1. that's a story for another day (and yes it's hilarious) and 2. they should never tell a pregnant woman that she can't go pee for 8 hours. (seriously!) but anyway, my baby is a toddler. a talking sweet toddler. i would name the words she says but i can't count them. we carry on conversations like old friends. she just talks - a lot. and her heart is growing in sweet sweet new ways. we've been praying with her a lot. reading her the Psalms and telling her the stories about God's people. about the people that Jesus was friends with - the people that first spread the good news about salvation. and just when i think she isn't understanding, she'll open up one of her little books, point to jesus and say, "that's MY Jesus." and yes. yes it is.

at night loralai has been waking up a bit crying. it's a hard thing to discern, at this age, why she's crying. regardless, todd and i believe that our greatest protection against bad dreams, fear, anything, is the armor of God. though while loralai is still young, we know that her armor is the protection of the holy spirit - the spirit she has yet to accept. but God says that he protects the young - that it's under his wing that we find refuge - that he is ever present in our time of need (which is always. hello.). so we've been talking to loralai a lot about all of these things. and the other night, overly tired, while putting her to bed, todd says the same thing to her that we've been saying for a while. he tells her that mommy and daddy can't come in tonight if she wakes...and she fills in the blank where we normally continue by saying, "but Jesus can. He sings me the hmmm hmmm song." (which is jesus loves me, hummed). todd said it was all he could do to not cry. it was real. just as Jesus said that when we cry out to him, he will come, he does. his promises are good.

and in the quiet of night when our little one reaches out in fear. when she musters up the courage and faith to ask Jesus to help her go back to sleep, it is Him who comes to her and sings her a lullaby back to sleep. only i'm certain that he says, I love you. This I know. For I've always told you so. Little ones to Me, you belong, you are weak but I am strong....

can you imagine being sung a lullaby by the King of Kings?

i bet you that He's willing to sing a beautiful sweet melody into our hearts, if we'll just still ourselves long enough to muster up the courage and faith to receive Him.

Psalm 91:14-16
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

...and this is how we pray with loralai. not that it's a perfect equation. but just an idea of something to do if you're new to praying with your little one. we just plug her name in to where the Psalm is talking about God's people and how He loves them. and the fruit is great. covering your children in the Truth is a mighty shield that will protect them now and in the days and years to come.

"Because Loralai loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue her;
I will protect Loralai, for she acknowledges my name.

15 Loralai will call upon me, and I will answer her;
I will be with Loralai in trouble,
I will deliver Loralai and honor her.

16 With long life will I satisfy Loralai
and show her my salvation."