Category: heart


October 3rd, 2015 — 8:43pm

Josh and I are driving home through Vail and I’m remembering a time a long time ago that my ex husband and I were driving home through Vail, late at night, during the holidays. I was in awe of the Christmas light display: thousands of white lights, wrapped around every branch of hundreds of trees. It was amazing. I was delighted. 

He was annoyed at my delight. He was often annoyed with me. 

The further away I get the more I realize how dampened I was. I never got to truly be myself. My true self wasn’t good enough. 

I’m constantly struck by the contrast between my two marriages. I can be so, extremely silly and Josh thinks it’s hilarious. It’s still so weird to me that he really and truly does care that I’m happy. That he wants to do whatever he can to make me happy. He honestly does delight in my delight. 

I feel like I’ve gotten to spread my wings. I feel like I get to soar now. I feel so very free. 

1 comment » | heart, marriage

everything new

May 13th, 2015 — 7:51pm

Today the FexEx guy walked into the office at my new job and asked, “What? You’re here too?”

Yes, I do all of the things.

(PS, I got a new job. I’m the “Interim Marketing and Communications Manager” for Downtown Grand Junction. Plus I’m still at Tangle. I don’t know how long this new job will last, but I like it.)

I don’t know what I’m doing. All of the things, I guess. I’m dead tired. But I’m having fun. I’m actually making real money for what feels like the first time ever. I’m doing all of the things I love: being creative, making change, ruling the world. I’m so tired.

Everything is new right now. I don’t know how to operate. Josh and I are figuring out how to balance both of us working more-than-full-time while running a household and raising teenage children. We may not have groceries in the house, but it’s an adventure.

I have friends who hate change. They fight it with everything in them. But I like change. I like everything being new. I like the fresh, shininess of it. And the adventure. I like blowing everything up and rebuilding.

This time last year I wasn’t married. I wasn’t living in this house. I was the director of a free medical clinic. Everything is new.

I think this is the cycle. THIS is life. Death and Rebirth. Death and Rebirth. Over and over again. After so much death and loss and tragedy, THIS is the rebirth. Everything new. Life again. I don’t know about Heaven, but I do know that life happens new, everyday. Maybe this is what being “born again” really means.
Death and Rebirth.
Life again.
Everything new.
Blow it up.
Start again.

[If there was any song that was the soundtrack of this life phase, it would be this one, on repeat at our house all the time right now.]

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believing what is true

February 25th, 2015 — 1:31pm

Last night I spent over an hour with Honor reminding him of who he really is. That he is smart and kind and sweet and brave and good at math and reading and computers. He’s been believing the lies that the kids in his class are telling him: that he’s stupid, that he’s a “book worm” (apparently a high insult), that he’s not athletic. Aside from the mama-bear rage that this incites in me, I also feel guilt.

I’m telling Honor all of these things that I know are true about him, telling him over and over again to believe the truth about himself, not the lies other people tell, and I worry that he got this propensity from me. I had to laugh at the irony of ME telling this to anyone. Last time I saw my therapist he asked me, “When are you going to start believing that you’re a really cool person?”

I think Honor and I both get caught up in the fact that, yes, people are actually communicating things that are not true to us: That we are unimportant or stupid, unloved or un-liked, that we are not worth someone’s time, love or attention. I think I needed someone to acknowledge to me, YES, this is actually what someone is saying to you with their actions. Yes, Honor, they are telling you lies. Yes, it’s actually happening, it’s not all in your head. You are validated.

I told Honor last night that when someone tells him that he’s bad at math that that’s actually pretty funny because he isn’t bad at math, we’ve got the test scores to prove it. I asked him what he would think if someone told me I was bad at knitting. That’s pretty ridiculous, I’m not, I’ve got the sweaters to prove it. I wanted to normalize to him that people can say things that we don’t have to believe.

I think I have some pretty deep and valid abandonment issues so my default is to always believe that I’m unimportant, unloved, alone. All I want so deeply is to be considered. I’ve come to see that my problem is that I only believe the truth about myself when someone is telling me that I’m important, loved, surrounded.

I need to believe those things are true.
Even when someone is telling me that they’re not.

It’s hard to be 11 and on your way to middle school where the kids are only going to get meaner. (It’s hard to be 33, too.) I want so badly to instill these concepts into Honor now, to give him an inner peace that will get him through anything. I don’t want him to have to be learning these lessons in adulthood when he has 30 years of baggage and lies to wade through. I hope, hope, hope that undoing 33 years of lies I’ve so willingly swallowed will give me the wisdom to help Honor learn to believe what is true about himself.

When am I going to start believing that I’m a really cool person? I think now sounds good.

1 comment » | heart, Honor, ouch

Dream Board 2014

January 4th, 2015 — 9:37pm

Making yearly dream boards had been a tradition with a few friends of mine since 2009. Life has taken over and we haven’t been able to get together the last couple of years, but it’s a tradition I’m not ready to let go of. I love having the stack hanging up in my creative space like a tiny snapshot from the years past. Love.

dream board 2014

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Hey, you, with the broken heart

October 28th, 2014 — 2:49pm

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how often I get to walk with people through broken hearts.  I never knew how much good would come from my own broken heart, but I’m SO incredibly thankful that I have gotten to talk about it. Through telling my story I have been able to help people over and over again. It’s so humbling and I feel so honored.

Several years ago, when I was watching my family fall apart, NO ONE was talking about going through what I went through. I searched everywhere but couldn’t find anyone who was willing to talk about what it was like for them. I found one friend who was going through something super similar and we clung to each other. I was determined that no matter the outcome of my marriage, I was going to talk about it. It wasn’t going to be a secret. I wasn’t going to let one single person go through what I was going through without someone saying to them, “Me too. I went through that too. You can make it.”

I’m so thankful that I’m at a point now that I can say,

“Hey, you, with the broken heart! I PROMISE it will get better. I promise that even though you don’t know what life will look like in 6 months, it can be good if you do the work. There is so much hope, and before you know it, things will start to look sunnier. Hope will start to seep in and soon, you’ll even be able to say that you’re happy. You might even be thankful for the lessons this broken heart taught you. It’s gonna be real good. Pinky promise.”

2 comments » | heart


September 19th, 2014 — 9:56am

I handed over the keys to our little yellow house last month, and with one last look, I stepped out the back door for the last time, walked down the path for the last last time and closed the back gate into the alley, for the last time. Moving has been such a process for me. Both literally and figuratively. I don’t know how many trips back and forth it’s taken to clear 13 years worth of stuff out of that house. I also don’t know how many days of processing it’s taken and will take.

That house saw me live, die, and come back to life again.

My husband left me in that house.

I met Josh in that house.

I celebrated nearly everyone I love in that house in one way or another. My babies came home from the hospital to that house.

Even though I never really loved the layout of that house, every single square inch of it exuded my personality. It was also falling apart.

I walked out that back door, slightly wistful, but also so relieved. I didn’t have energy for that house anymore. And I know, so deep in my bones, that it’s time for a new start. I’m so excited to get to start my new marriage with a fresh canvas in a great house, on my favorite Main Street.

Life is not what I thought it would be. But it’s hard and good. Bitter and sweet. And I’m looking forward, not back.

Comments Off | heart, house

How’s Married Life?

June 27th, 2014 — 2:28pm

This is the question I’ve been getting a lot lately. I’m not totally sure how to answer that question because I haven’t solidly wrapped my head around the fact that I’M MARRIED.  This is mostly my fault because I think my little PTSD’d self had a hard time believing that it would actually happen. Leading up to the wedding I started to be convinced that Josh was going to die in a fiery plane crash or something equally as tragic. My life has not been the easiest for a lot of years so I just didn’t spend much time thinking about what life would be like after we were married, just in case something happened.

I’m not real proud of my lack of faith and hope. I keep thinking about this section at the beginning of Bittersweet:

I learned about waves when I was little, swimming in Lake Michigan, in navy blue water under a clear sky, and the most important thing I learned was this:  if you try to stand and face the wave, it will smash you to bits, but if you trust the water, and let it carry you, there’s nothing sweeter.  And a couple decades later, that’s what I’m learning to be true about life, too.  If you dig in and fight the change you’re facing, it will indeed smash you to bits. It will hold you under, drag you across the rough sand, scare and confuse you. 

This last season in my life has been characterized, more than anything else, by change. Hard, swirling, one-after-another changes, so many that I can’t quite regain my footing before the next one comes, very much like being tumbled by waves. 

When we were in San Diego for our honeymoon, laying on the beach, I thought about how much I’ve fought the waves. How I haven’t trusted anything, and barely anyone, and how I’ve been so, so afraid. I’m not very proud of this last year of my life, I feel like in many ways I’ve failed. There have been a few bright and shining moments where my head finally surfaced above the clouds and I actually got to SEE what I have and what I’m living, but many, many of them have been marked by fear.

Somehow in the midst of it all I’ve forgotten that faith I learned when my first marriage fell apart. I forgot how to take blind steps forward, trusting that God knows exactly where he’s taking me.  It seems silly because I KNOW that he will take such good care of me, just look at the ways he’s made everything new again. But somehow fear was easier, fear was in MY CONTROL.  And hanging onto everything so tightly seemed to be the only way to keep it all together. (It wasn’t.)

So here’s what I’m learning now: the lesson that I have to learn over and over and over again. Surrender. I will never be able to control of my life. I may never know what the next six steps are. I may never know what’s next. But I am choosing to believe that whatever’s next, it will be OK. I have 32 years to tell me that whatever comes, I will BE OK. In the next month we will likely be moving to another house. We don’t know which house and if we for sure will be moving, but I’m choosing to believe that whatever house it is, that’s the house we’re supposed to have. I’m choosing to remember that my life has always been orchestrated in ways more beautiful than I could ever have planned myself. I’m choosing to stop fighting the waves.

So anyway, how’s married life? Right, I’m MARRIED. I think it’s good. I keep looking at Josh, across the table, or across the room and I feel so incredibly thankful. I get to spend the rest of my life with HIM. I watch him be incredibly patient with the kids and I think back to what I wished for, 3 years ago, when I was taking all of those blind steps forward, not knowing where I was going. I think back to those times when the hope of what could be in the future was all that got me through. And I realize that those things I hoped for, those things that I wanted deep in my bones, THOSE are the things I got. It’s like someone knew me and made it all happen.

About to see a show at the old globe theater thanks to @wannabehippie! #honeymoon

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Part of the story

May 13th, 2014 — 4:04pm


It’s been so exciting for me to get to tell my story lately. I have worked so hard to get here and I love getting to share that redemption is real. One thing that I’ve been thinking about lately is something that God whispered to me one morning last summer while I was at my Grandma’s house. Dating Josh has been one of those huge processes for me. I had so much unexpected fear to deal with. Even though it is so understandable considering where I’ve come from, it took me by surprise. I remember, headphones in, face buried in pillows, praying through the fear and God said to me:

Josh is not the story, he’s part of the story.

As thankful as I am to have Josh in my life, as much as I believe he is part of God’s plan for me, I don’t want want to forget that HE is not the one saving me. I was already saved before he came along.


Comments Off | heart, Josh, marriage


April 25th, 2014 — 9:36am

This has been one of those years where I’ve examined the majority of my theology and come up short. At times this is hard for me, feeling like I don’t have anything solid to stand on. But then it feels so natural. Theology, to me, is fluid. The best way for each of us to experience God is through our experiences and our experiences change the way we see things and open our eyes and wake us up. The way we see and experience things changes the way we believe.

What I’m learning is that when I start to get caught up in what I don’t believe, when my footing feels shaky, the best thing for me to do is to focus on what I do believe. (And maybe that’s where Evangelicals and non-evangelicals can find common ground too, in the beliefs they do share.) So what I decided to do was write my own personal Manifesto. To proclaim to the world, THIS is what’s important to me, THIS is what I believe. I borrowed from and was inspired by: Glennon Melton, Shauna Niequist, Bob Goff, the Liturgists, Brene Brown and Rob Bell.

One thing I can guarantee, this Manifesto, like my theology, will be fluid.

1. We were made to love and be loved.
Love is the most transformative element in the world. It is the only meaningful thing we can offer each other.

2. The POINT is relationships.
We were made to connect and we are all connected. Let me say that again. WE ARE ALL CONNECTED. ALL of us. God’s primary tool for connecting to us and showing us love is through other people. The closer we get to other people, the closer we get to him.

3.God always comes back for us.
Redemption is his language. We are all deeply flawed but I don’t think he minds so much. I think he likes us this way. One thing that I see that most of Christianity misses is his tenderness towards our flaws.

4. Our journeys are holy.
The miracle of life is in the act of LIVING. Every journey looks different and we all get to God in different ways and at different times. That’s what makes it so holy.

5. We get to (have to) be who we are.
My life will never be what it is meant to be if I do not live it completely embracing WHO I AM. I will always show up for life eyes wide open, heart bared to the world. I will always allow and encourage others to be who they are too.

6. All lives are sacred.
We are all connected. My life is for other people and I will always work for those who are marginalized, neglected, forgotten, abused, hurting and powerless.

7. We were made to create.
Beauty is the language of life. Creating is what gives us life. The pursuit of true beauty is the pursuit of God’s heart.

8. In life, there will always be brokenness.
A broken heart won’t kill us but running from it will. The brokenness is what makes the redemption so beautiful. Our capacity for brokenness is our capacity for wholeheartedness.

9. I will not be ruled by fear.
Being brave is feeling afraid but acting anyway. I will not participate in guilt (christian or otherwise).

Comments Off | church/spiritual beliefs, heart


April 13th, 2014 — 9:50am

I’ve come to believe that if God is in the business of anything, it’s the business of making all things new. I’ve seen him take what was broken and bad and turn it into something whole and good. I think that’s his primary business. That’s what he does for all of us.

Yesterday I got the opportunity to share my story with the church I attend. I’ve been telling the story for a while, in bits and pieces, though my blog and even twitter, but I’m pretty excited to get to tell the whole thing. I’m so thankful to be here, now. Looking back. Seeing how bad things were and now how good they are. Redemption is real. I’m so grateful.

1 comment » | heart, thankful

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