My mother has been bothering me for years to write a blog. Every year I have the same answer… “What would I have to say that people would want to read?” I tell her when I have an answer for that question, I will write a blog. I seriously don’t know how people have time to write them. I don’t even have time to take a shower. Literally. It’s a problem. I don’t know how all these women out there write blogs. Not only are they writing blogs, they are writing blogs about all the crafts and food they make. How are they finding time for that? And most of them have more than one child. I only have one, and I need a shower, badly.
Now, I have something to write about. It’s been a long time coming and I stay up at nights thinking about it. I have been waiting for the perfect time, and I realized, there is no perfect time. I have to stop wasting time and do it …now. Four years ago, I went to Africa. Four years ago I made promises to people there that I would not forget them, that I would tell their stories. Four years ago. What have I done in four years?
My mom thought of the title “Before and Africa” and I actually love it. There are a lot of things my mom and I agree on, but usually when she has an idea “for” me, I politely turn her down. But this title struck a chord in me. I thought about all the blogs out there about style and fashion and craftiness and I thought about how my blog would probably be the antithesis of that. Maybe I do always buy the same long sleeved shirts at the GAP every three years when the old ones get holes in them. Maybe I do still have the same tennis shoes I bought for 30 bucks 6 years ago. Maybe I do only get my hair cut once a year. Maybe I am in desperate need of a style makeover, but I think this blog is more of a before and after of my soul. My soul before and now my soul (after) Africa…
So thanks mom, for the title and for recognizing there has been a change in me and that even though I have a hard time finding the words, it’s time to start trying.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


I have been thinking a lot lately about the word light.  About lights in general.  About light in general.  What it means to be a light, to live by the light, to know the Light of the World in an intimate way.  In a way that pushes all darkness from your life.  I feel like the last three years have been this journey for me in the dark…with tiny lights guiding my path. Little flickers of hope.  Some bigger than others, some blown out completely.  

There is something about lights.  Especially right now, in this season.  I love Christmas lights.  I love sitting by the Christmas tree and driving around looking at houses with lights.  It makes me feel warm and safe.  It makes me feel like the darkness can’t hide the light.  The light of the world, who came as a baby.  That’s why we celebrate, it’s why we gather. 

We have been waiting so long for Moses that we never expected to have another child before we brought him home.  I can’t say I know the sorrow of losing a baby, I don’t pretend to understand the grief of having a miscarriage.  But I can tell you, I have felt the longing to have another baby.  Desperately.  For a long time we didn’t try to have any because all our time and energy went into our adoption…then there was the two year wait for the exit permit and we decided to keep our lives moving .  I thought well, could be another two years so let’s have a baby while we wait! HA! Not that easy.  I have felt the pain of thinking “This is the month!” for almost a year…waiting waiting waiting .  I thought “Lord really? You are gonna make me wait for this one too?”  Waiting seems to be a theme for our family.  Our plan was never to have 5 years go by before having more children, but that is what happened.  And in my sadness of missing one baby and longing for another…she came.  The light in the dark.  Lucy, her name actually means light.  And that is what she has been the last 10 months…a light and a gift.  She came just when she was supposed to come…just when the pain was the greatest…she brought new hope into our family, new joy, new life.   Little Lucy Lou. 

 What I pray for my little girl (and for myself at the moment) is that she will be a light to others.  She won’t speak ill of people, she will focus on the good in people rather than what they need to change.  She will make people laugh, she will shine bright in the darkness.  She will reflect the light of the One who created her so brightly that it’s all they will see.  They will see Him through her. 

I haven’t taken her for granted one single day.  Every single day I think about how I am blessed to spend it with her… I think about how I have missed so many days with Moses and how we aren’t promised everyday.  I breathe her in, watch her determined little body discover, and take steps, and turn into who she is supposed to be. 

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness- Eleanor Roosevelt

SO whatever darkness you may be in or feeling at the moment…don’t curse it.  Embrace it, for it is making you so much stronger…and while you are in there…freaking light a candle and let it freaking shine.  I don't know about you but I'm kinda tired of letting the darkness win.  We have the light. Love does win.  This morning the sun was coming up through the haze of the blustery snow and it made this magical beam up to heaven.  It was like God was reminding me that we can reflect His glory…shine it right back to Him. Up and out…shine it up and out.