Category Archives: Empty Nest


Happy Friday!

We got home late Wednesday and yesterday was my day with the band of brothers and Princess Caroline…so…needless to say I am tapped out in the brain this morning.

I will give a huge shoutout to all the young moms and dads out there because … have mercy…what you do is E.X.H.A.U.S.T.I.N.G.

And…mind-numbingly repetitive…

and thankless…

and frustrating.

But you are raising up decent little human beings and providing for their needs while training them to make good choices.

You might think…

as I did yesterday whilst holding a baby on my hip as I prepared dinner and wished I had a third hand to wipe the constantly dripping noise…meanwhile answering Emmett’s same question for the ten zillionth time and pulling Joel out of the pantry …in between telling Graham how many minutes were left on the timer for his reading homework…every thirty seconds…

that you are losing your mind.

However I can tell you…

you will look back on all of this one day and know in your heart…

it was just a long string of Best. Days. Ever.

And all of us out here on the other side say a big huge THANK YOU for everything you do.

It all matters and we love you for the care you give your little ones.

You will make it.

All of you.

So just keep plugging away and take up every offer of help that comes down the pike…you deserve it.


Wednesday randomness in the midst of a serious series <3

Glad you stopped by but we are taking a mid-week break in the series because….

life happens….

pc Rachel Maxwell

And this week has been full of time with my people …except for John and Zach…sigh…

so here’s what’s been going on…

we shot hoops…

apparently investigated a crime scene…

finished a sweater I started (ahem…after the reveal party a year ago)…

and just in the nick of time as she may have outgrown it after this picture was taken.

Don’t care.

Would do it all again <3

Went to an Illini game with this guy…

Checked another item off the bucket list with this gem…

and now it’s on to a full day.

Whatever you do today, I hope you find some time to spend with people you love.

It’s good medicine.

I promise we will settle down and finish up what we have started but for now…

it’s back to the rat race for me….

pc Sarah Vie <3



Plunder from the pain <3

My reading in Exodus this week has landed me in the midst of God giving Moses a shopping list for a wide range of items to build the Tabernacle that includes…

oh…such things as…

fine threads and linen, gold and silver, olive oil and spices and crazy-expensive things like Frankincense …which if you are into essential oils…hello….$$$$$

And I marvel every time I read this in Exodus…

Where are these people going to find all of this stuff out in the middle of nowhere?

Yet the Israelite families have access to all of this and more amongst their possessions.

But wait.

Weren’t they slaves held in captivity in Egypt?

How did they manage to come up with more than enough of all of these luxurious commodities making bricks for Pharaoh?

Ahhh….the plunder.

If you remember by the time God’s plagues had wreaked enough havoc on the land of Egypt that everyone from the top down was saying L.E.A.V.E. … NOW!!

God brought favor on His people that as they were packing they asked the residents for all of these niceties and they gave them to the Israelites.

The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.   Exodus 12:36

We have been looking at those seasons where we walk in captivity to a grief and sorrow brought on by the ungodly or unjust ways of others.

That kind of heartache means we are not just going on without a person or a relationship or a purpose, but we have to deal with the loss of what we thought would be and the betrayal we feel about what we thought we had and the unfairness that none of this would have happened if someone else had chosen differently.


It can seem like we are gathering up the fragments of our life that are still intact as we head out into an unknown desert.

For me, these seasons of loss on someone else’s terms have been a process of turning to God through journaling my thoughts.

I find as I look through the pages of those seasons some raw, ugly, and yet beautiful times of honest outpouring.

Raw and ugly because I spare nothing when I go to my God.

He knows my thoughts before I even think them and so He is my safe place.

I can spill all of it out before Him and then when I have told Him, honestly, every thought and question; I still myself and listen.

This is a slow process.

You know…crossing deserts take a while.

It is dry and arid.


But there are wells in the desert.

Deep ones.

And as I pour out and wait…pour out and wait…eventually….

He begins to reveal things in those times in His presence.

Things about the situation.

Things about the people.

Things about me.

As I listen and ponder what He impresses on my heart, I journal His thoughts and my thoughts.

Step by step some days, or camping out and just resting others, I begin to see a bigger view of my little story.

And then as the initial pain becomes something I can finally face with myself and with others in my daily life, I start looking back at those ink covered lines of a spiral notebook and guess what I find?


Yes, the enemy may have taken something from me but God has provided a treasure that can never be destroyed or taken.

Lessons gleaned in the wilderness that strengthen me and change me and mold me more into the image of His Son.

So to finish our series, I will share a few of those treasures with you…for His glory and for your healing.

We do not travel alone and I hope to encourage you as we journey onward together <3



Timing is everything

So when I ended Friday with the idea that I would be starting a series this week, I totally blanked that we had planned a sleepover party for the two older kiddos since no school on Monday.

Papi got the wild idea to get a hotel with access to a pool and burn off some winter house-bound energy.

And while these two were the main event for the sleepover part…

We let in a few party crashers for dinner…


and product testing all the appliances and electronics in the room….

Now I am huddled on the edge of a bed that is being taken up by as much acreage as any six year old can possibly commandeer by spreading his legs, arms and stuffed animals out in an odd array of angles and I can hear deep breathing from Papi and some snores from Emmett a few feet away.

So the series is getting a slow start but a promise is a promise so grab your bible and start reading 1 Samuel 16 because there comes a time in every story of healing when God breaks through the funk and says…

How long are you going to grieve?

It happened for Samuel the prophet after a time of mourning over choices Saul made that left Samuel with soul baggage.

It is one thing when we have to live with the consequences of our own poor choices and regrets….quite another when someone else makes the mess that we are left to move on from.

That’s the kind of healing I want to look at in the next few days…as soon as I catch a few hours of sleep because if these yahoo’s wake up as early here as they do at home, Papi and I are sure to make the 6:00 start of the free breakfast down in the lobby…so for now….I bid you rest and peace and we will (hopefully….) launch into more of this topic on Tuesday.

Oh….and in the meantime…this happened tonight….

Graham wanted to read to me from his Bible and he asked if he could write in it.

I told him probably not but he pointed out that his mommy writes in her bible.

I explained she makes notes….

he explained that was his plan….

like mother…like daughter…like mother…like son….

you may have trouble reading his note so let me help….

“Jesus didn’t retaliate”


No, He didn’t.

Thank you Graham….perfect start to the series <3


Why we don’t just want to patch the potholes…we need a deep healing my friends <3

I mentioned way back in October that I have a series brewing in my head and I have been trying to pull it together in a neat little packages but there were forces that  worked against me pulling that off.

And yet the theme is so strong in my life right now that I think we are going to plunge right in without a nice and tidy framework and we are going to start the new year with a look at what we do when those seasons come that rip apart everything as we knew it and leave us shell-shocked and bleeding from the schrapnel.

Our people have been wounded.

We are wounded.

And the mess is one of those Cat in the Hat kind…so big and so tall …. there is no way to fix…there is no way at all…or something to that effect with apologies to Dr. Seuss.

The other day I drove across a stretch of road that was in the process of being patched.

As I drove over loose gravel and tar patches, my tires spun and flung making the sickening sticky sound of rocky goo finding a home on the underside of the car.

I finally passed, with great relief, the road crew shoveling the muck into our ever present chain of potholes.

I know they are doing their best, but I cried out to the powers that be in the Illinois DOT …

In the name of all things holy, will you  please stop patching these holes and fix them permanently.

And even as the words escaped my lips I realized I was quite possibly crying out to a higher authority…


the Highest Authority…

because it’s time to stop patching the holes in my heart and let the healing begin.

I don’t know where we are headed with this next week…but I hope you will join me for a look at some ways God might be calling us to deal with some heart hurts His way in 2018 <3

Two quotes come to mind to leave you with…

“It’s times like this my buddy Timon says, ‘You gotta put your behind in your past.'” Pumbaa in the movie The Lion King

and perhaps a better and more spiritual form would be…

Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.                                                             Our God, Jehovah I Am, in His Word recorded in  Isaiah 43:18-19, The MSG version