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My Idealized Image – a satire

If anyone out there struggles, or has ever struggled, with being enough in their ordinariness, you might relate to this little essay I wrote. Put simply, it’s about the kind of woman I thought that I should be – and one day – would be. After reading the first paragraph, you will likely become tired, then stressed, and hopefully by the end, amused by the insanity of it all. This simple exercise of articulating what my counselor calls an “idealized image” has helped me see how my lifetime of striving after an unattainable me, has kept me from living today and enjoying the imperfect, ordinary, hopelessly flawed, but adored, cherished, and completely lovable, me that God created to love and enjoy. If you can relate to what I’ve written, I invite you to write your own essay. Your true (flawed, ordinary, imperfect, but lovable) self will thank you!

Cheers to being ordinary,


Each day I awaken before dawn to enjoy an hour of quiet Bible reading and intercession, the house all to myself at 5am. I make a real food breakfast feast, and get to work homeschooling. In between subjects, we go on nature walks on our neighborhood trails that back up to our 3.5 acres, picking wild berries and foraging other delectable foods. We picnic on a grassy patch, read a classic piece of literature that builds the vocabulary and brain synapses of my brilliant children who are sure to qualify for any Ivy or mini-Ivy, and possibly even by the age 16. No screen time for us when all we really need is Nature to satiate our curious minds. When we return to our homestead, we tend to our spirited hens and harvest fresh vegetables for that night’s dinner. But don’t forget the field trip! Today should it be the observatory for astronomy, colonial Williamsburg for their history lesson, or maybe just play time at the creek where the kids will entertain themselves for hours in the outdoors, skipping rocks, and asking myriad questions about creatures, cloud formations, and plant life? Bliss! Home for tea time – decompressing and savoring rich discussion alongside the children’s favorite loose tea, a real food version of scones, homemade lemon curd, and an assortment of homemade jams canned by yours truly from our berry bushes last Summer. Just another piece of the perfect childhood I’m busy creating for my children. After tea time, we prepare dinner together, being careful to use each measurement as a sensory opportunity for the youngest and math lesson for the oldest as he calculates fractions. Once dad is finished with work for the day, he joins in the cooking and learning, but also prepares the Bible lesson that he will be leading that night after dinner. All are ready to receive both spiritual and actual food around the table. Washed hands, garden-plucked flowers, and Mozart’s Requiem all set the stage for a feast for soul and body. Each receives joyfully and eagerly – full, overflowing, grateful. We are the perfect family.

Aren’t I lovely? I am a passionate woman who is fiercely devoted to rearing her children with the best of everything – the best music, the best food, the best childhood experience. Did I also mention I blog about my life as a homeschooling, homesteading mom? I have 50,000 followers and am hoping to get a book deal. But did I also mention that I work as a realtor? That’s right, I am one of the leading realtors in the city, actually. I have only been in real estate for three years, but was honored and humbled to be included in the “top 1%” of realtors in my city. Sure, it’s hard for a homeschooling, homesteading mom to do both, but somehow I manage, without even compromising my health or sleep. It seems impossible, but I manage to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, knowing it is a critical element of whole health- spirit, soul, and body. That, and of course, my daily hour spent walking or investing in my yoga practice. All of these things help keep me fit and lean, but also relaxed and clear-headed – two critical qualities of a homeschooling, homesteading, mom-blogging, taking-the-real-estate-world –by-storm woman.

It goes without saying that as a Christian woman, I care deeply about keeping an orderly home, and am always open to welcoming others in and practicing hospitality. The state of the home is an outward reflection of the inner life, so I aim to keep mine pristine and tidy, and because I enjoy design, also furnished with fine, but livable, fabrics, art, and accouterments. Peace and comfort, with an understated elegance. My husband has nicknamed me “31” for short – his Proverbs 31 woman – it makes me blush, but I know it is true. He is satisfied in every way if you know what I mean, and can’t relate to the other men who complain of their wives being uninterested and closed off to intimacy. A love note on his bed each morning to greet him, surprise afternoon rendezvous, middle of the night adventures, weekends away together, and hot, wholesome meals prepared before he can profess hunger, are a reality – a given, really – as a Christian wife. Anything less would be withholding from my husband and a disappointment to me (and my standard) as “31.” It’s amazing the unity between us – finishing each other’s sentences, having the same dreams each night, and of course hours spent in prayer and intercession on each other’s behalf. You could say that we are what Paul had in mind when he discussed a husband and wife in Ephesians 5. A city on a hill. Some have wondered how I – as a homeschooling, homesteading, mom-blogging, taking-the-real-estate-world–by-storm, pristine housekeeping, daily-exercising, husband-pleasing woman – do it. It really cannot be explained in ordinary terms. You see, I actually am not ordinary. I am among the few super-people that God has created and what I can accomplish on any given day supersedes human capacity. It is wonderful to be truly extraordinary.

March 1, 2015   No Comments

A Year after the Move

A year has already gone by since we pulled out of our hometown of Austin, Texas, for the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Charlottesville, Virginia, visiting every Whole Foods Market along the way of our 1200-mile minivan journey. Bear with me as I process this year – some emotions don’t yet have language, but I hope that this post will help me find the words. If I had to summarize the year in two words, it would be SPACE and REST. Yes, we left Austin in search of a slower paced life, a smaller city, and four seasons, but we also left because we needed SPACE – space to breathe, space to run free, and space to know in a deeper way our true selves – individually and as a family. The thrill of having literal space has not worn off, and we love every inch of our 3.6 acres. I still pinch myself as I drive up our gravelly driveway and see our “ugly brown house” (side story: a colleague said at a happy hour, “Oh, you bought the ugly brown house? Can you believe those sellers painted it BROWN???”) perched on top of the hill. It’s our ugly brown house and we love it. Though I will be glad to paint it one day! In addition to actual space/acreage, we have savored the space we have in our schedules. We have deliberately chosen to ease into life here and not become pushed to the margin with activities and commitments. Jonathan works from home, and my work schedule is flexible. It has been a joy to see my husband thrive in his work and do the things that he was made to do – namely, to create and make things beautiful. He gets paid to use these gifts, and is part of a great company with excellent leadership. Though there are parts of the Tea Embassy storefront that we certainly miss, the relief we both feel is immeasurable. We have established a rhythm of life that ensures we have time to care for our bodies, our hearts, and our home, without feeling anxious and stressed. I hope we can maintain this rhythm of rest.

In addition to space and rest, I cannot describe the impact that the beauty here has had on my soul and body. Driving home with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the backdrop is somehow repairing things in my heart and body that have needed to be repaired for a long time. I sleep here. Though my struggle with insomnia is not completely a distant memory, I am grateful that I have not had a sleepless night in over a year. There was a time when I did not think that would be possible. Beauty heals. And it heals in its own quiet, effortless way. I also love the rhythm and predictability of the seasons. In the winter, it is cold and everything looks dead. In the summer, it is hot and very lush. In the fall, there are leaves that change colors. In the spring, flowers suddenly appear and its as if a colorful paintbrush has suddenly stroked the entire landscape. This brings comfort and peace to me. I know it sounds silly, but the erratic weather of Texas made me feel crazy. I am happy to be in a place where I know what to expect (mostly).

Of course life here isn’t perfect. As a relational being at heart, there are days when I miss my friends so deeply that my body actually aches and I have a perpetual lump in my throat. Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone. My Austin friendships took years to form, and you can’t replace that overnight. I am grateful for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-schoolers) here, where I have met so many like-minded, full-hearted, creative, beautiful, generous, fun-loving women, who though I may not know them yet, would come to my aid if my family or I needed it. I trust that in time, these relationships will bloom into friendships that are more like sisters than friends. Another thing I miss is being known. Despite the crazy growth in Austin over the past few years, it was still not uncommon to meet someone who would say, “I have known you since you were this big,” or “I played golf with your grandfather,” or “Your dad is my periodontist and he is the kindest, most caring man.” I miss that. I grieve having left a history of being a fourth generation Austinite to come to a totally new land where I have to start a new set of roots. I didn’t realize how much that would affect me. I wonder if Texasns are the only ones who feel this way because when I bring this up to non-Texans, they just kind of stare at me like I have two heads and wonder what the big deal is. It’s probably a Texas thing. The other thing is that I just kinda miss being among other Texans. When I think about raising our kids here, I am sad that I will not be raising Texans. More than ever, I have come to appreciate Texas and how anyone is allowed to be anything they want to be in Texas. Texas doesn’t care about whether your ancestors fought in the Revolution, what elite school you attended, or any of those other things that “qualify” a person. Texas just opens its arms and heart wide and welcomes you to be great if you want to be. Don’t get me wrong, Virginians are friendly, too, and I love how they value quality of life – commitment to farming, love of beauty, and celebration of the seasons and the unique joys associated with each. Still – you can’t really explain it unless you’ve lived it. Texas is Texas, and it’s unlike any other place.

So given all that, I know the big question is: “Do you think you will stay in Virginia?” My answer is that – so far – I believe we will. Charlottesville is enchanting and I can’t think of a better place to raise our children. The Austin I once knew is no more, and I can’t think of anywhere else in Texas I would want to be. Besides, we have been blessed here. Doors of opportunity have opened for both us with our work, and we feel we are positioned for success as long as we stay consistent and continue to pursue excellence. Our neighbors are perhaps the biggest highlight and I can’t imagine finding that back in Austin, especially living on 3.6 acres! We love the schools our children attend and feel grateful to be a part of the communities at each place. I have several dear friendships here that in time will develop into those that I am currently longing for. It just takes time – a truth I always resist. Of course we don’t know what the future holds, but we do know that what is happening in and around us as a result of our move is good and needed, and that it has only just begun. Each day I learn a little bit more about what is actually in my heart and then have the (sometimes scary) task of walking it out. I have learned to speak up for myself, at times completely botching it, as I go from one side of the pendulum to the other. I have learned to rest, when the rational thing to do would be to strive to make something happen. And I have learned (am learning) to give thanks – in all circumstances – for abiding joy regardless of geography. Thank you, old friends and new, for loving us and cheering us on. So grateful we are not alone on this journey.



Easter family photo_2014

Our Easter morning photo in front of our ugly brown house. :)

June 2, 2014   No Comments

Far more than I dared to ask or dream

There are times when old journal entries stop me dead in my tracks. Prayers that once felt impossible are now answered. Longings that were once so deep that my body actually ached are now fulfilled. I see how God was faithful then, and I can trust that He will be faithful now. It is my food in the waiting. Before I did dream boards, I would occasionally come across something that inspired me so much that I would paste it into my journal. It was usually something that I was waiting for and my heart needed the visual reminder to keep praying and keep believing during the waiting. In September 2009, I was barely pregnant with our second child, and came across a picture of a precious little girl in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. She had a bag next to her with the name “Abby” on it – the name I had always loved for a girl. Something about this little girl struck me. I was taken by her – her loose, soft curls, blueish-green eyes, button nose, and peaceful countenance. I glued the picture in my journal and dared to ask God again for my own Abby, a prayer I had been praying for almost a decade (well before I was married!), which at one point felt impossible since the doctor said that children might not be possible given the things going wrong with my body at the time. Just a few months after posting that picture in my journal we found out that we would, in fact, have a girl. Our Abby. Beautiful, free-spirited, artistic, worshipful, friend-of-God, Abby.

The dream picture from my journal is on top, the dream-come-true picture of my little Abby is on the bottom. Sometimes God absolutely blows my mind and this is one of those times. Abigail (Abby) even thinks it is a picture of herself! Ephesians 3:20 “Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.”

P.S. In case my other kids read this one day, we prayed for you too! Each of you is a miracle and has a marvelous story only God could write! :)

PBK AbbyAbby with Agillia


February 2, 2014   No Comments

How Magazines, Scissors, and a bit of Courage changed my Life

Dream Boards

Two years ago, at the urging of my wonderful husband, I made one of the best decisions and chose to invest in myself by attending The Destiny Project – a life-changing course led by Sarah Sherwood that helps you identify your true identity and life mission. At the time, I was struggling with some PPD as a result of caring for my third child, Hallie, who cried the first several months of her life. Without stopping. If she was awake, she was crying. And most of the time she should have been sleeping (and we should have been sleeping), she was crying. There were many times I had to step outside my house so that I would not harm her. I wish I were kidding. It was scary and horrible. We were also under financial duress with a business that was growing, but not at the pace of our family. That December it became obvious that I needed to seek help. Though my mid-wife recommended that I see a psychologist who specializes in PPD, the thought of spending my “time off” in an office talking about how sad I was that my baby cried all the time sounded even more depressing. I sensed that I needed something that would go deeper. Something that would speak to my innermost being. Something that would blow on my barely flickering spirit and fan hope, purpose, and vision into flame. We took money we didn’t have and put it towards my 8-week adventure with The Destiny Project. Little did we know that this little investment would turn our family upside down in all the right ways.

I’m not going to go through all of the exercises we did as part of the course on this post. You have to sign up for the course and do it yourself for that! I do want to share one thing we did that has been life-changing for me, my husband, and our little family. Dream boards. (Vision boards/dream maps/etc). Yes, Oprah has touted them for years now and new-agers love them, too. That’s because they WORK – if you really let them. Here’s what you do:

1. Get a bunch of magazines/catalogs that appeal to you
2. Go through and tear out/cut out every image, word, phrase that stirs you (you don’t have to understand why it appeals to you, just go with it and try not to judge it)
3. Create your board on poster board/a large piece of sturdy paper. Make it as big as you want if you have lots to put on there! Make it obnoxiously big if you need. Again, don’t judge yourself.
4. Hang it up in a place you see everyday. Ours hang in plain view at our breakfast/dinner table. It looks kinda tacky, but it’s worth it to be in touch with your heart every day. You become what you behold.

I know that doesn’t seem that life-changing. But here’s the thing. I did mine and there were several very clear themes that emerged, making it clear what my heart was saying at the time. For one thing, there were about 50 pictures of me SITTING DOWN by a beach, lake, or other body of water, and even a few pictures of actual beds. I WAS TIRED and my heart was trying to communicate with me since I was obviously ignoring my body and my mind. It wasn’t just about needing sleep. It showed me that I deeply value REST. And I love for others to enter into a place of rest as well. It is actually one of our family’s values. Another value that emerged for me was ACHIEVEMENT. It became clear that something was missing in my life at that point. It was something that I had judged so harshly in myself (and in others, if I am honest), and that was – the need/desire/longing to accomplish things – outside of the home. I had tried to be the perfect pour-everything-you-have-into-your-children-and-home kind of woman, but at the end of the day, I really missed connecting in the marketplace. It was like a well of life and creativity was stopped up and contributing to the sadness I felt in my heart. I admit, I felt like I was less of a woman or mother for having that desire. It was such a relief to give myself permission to sit with this value of mine, and instead of judging it, to nurture it and consider ways to engage it. Just taking the judgment away brought so much peace and hope! Many of the other images on my board did not make sense at the time and would take a year or more to begin to manifest (new ager term!). I was hooked though. I suddenly felt like I was a part of life. I felt like I had choices and could live the life my heart wanted to live. Because my husband is an INFP also, he’s all about these kind of touchy feely exercises and readily created his own dream board. We posted them on the wall by our breakfast/dinner table and discussed our boards every day. At breakfast every morning we asked each other, “What do you see today on your dream board?” Pretty soon these images, words, and phrases weren’t just something we were discussing. They began to take root and we began to live them out. I can’t explain it. I just know that at some point I really believed what I was seeing was possible, and that it was going to happen and that was that. When the first dream boards felt stale, we made new ones. And we continued to ask each other every day, “What do you see on your dream board today?” And our kids asked, too. And Preston even made his own dream board (full of Legos). We encouraged him to put whatever he wanted on it. Just get in the habit of knowing what is in your heart and putting it out there to see – without judgment. Little did we know that those dream boards would lead my hubby not only to a career change, but to a whole new life half-way across the country! Though much on our second dream boards is still “in process” and hasn’t fully “manifested,” it feels like it’s time for the third. And I can’t wait! I love seeing what there is to pursue, discover, choose, and become. You never know what will emerge…though I hope it does not involve any drastic changes anytime soon!

This simple exercise was an instrumental part of my turn-around from depression and hopelessness. It began a new journey of greater self-discovery, self-compassion, and endless possibilities that has been more life-giving than the countless groups I have been a part of in the past. It was what my husband and I held on to when none of our circumstances made sense. We believed that what we could see on those boards was possible and that it was worth clinging to and fighting for. Who knew? Magazines + scissors + tape + an open heart + courage = ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES and LOTS OF HOPE.

Disclaimer: Just because I chose to go this route rather than the counseling route does NOT mean that it is right for everyone. Sometimes professional help is critical. This was what was right for ME after my husband and I spent time talking through and praying about the options. Be led forth with peace and joy if you find yourself in a similar situation.

January 22, 2014   No Comments

Happy birthday, to my beloved Jonathan

It seems only fitting that my first “real” post of this blog would be written in honor of you – my dearest friend, most faithful companion, most dedicated caretaker, most ardent encourager, and most committed father of our children. When most people get married they likely have a couple of blissful months, and then realize after a while that who they married isn’t really who they thought were. The masks come off and the true colors are revealed. You, however, have been the complete opposite. The longer we have been married, the more I realize that you are better than I could have ever imagined. Who others may know you to be or think you to be doesn’t hold a candle to who you really are. Behind closed doors when no one is looking, in the waking, should-be-sleeping, unglamorous routines of the day-to-day, you show up – every day – with kindness, gentleness, and quiet strength for others to lean into. I have spent these past six plus years as the grateful recipient of your seemingly endless patience, steadfast, abiding love, and selfless commitment, and have been changed by the atmosphere of grace and peace that you provide.

Something that others may not know is how you have spent the past year as my caretaker. When my health tanked last year from insomnia and the residue of PTSD, and my mind struggled to remember much of anything – including how to get from point A to point B in our own hometown, we did not know how we would survive. I couldn’t sleep at night, which meant I could barely function during the day, either because of exhaustion or because migraines consistently took me out. I would lie awake, frustrated, desperate, and guilt-ridden, knowing I was keeping you from sleep, too. You never hesitated. Every miserable night you came to my rescue, praying for me and asking God to have mercy and grant me rest. I struggled because not only was I not “contributing” to the family, I was being a drain – which was in my mind, the worst possible thing I could be. Instead of shame and frustration you showed me compassion and patience, and assured me that I was worthy of love whether or not I contributed anything. When the doctor said we were going to need a radical change of life in order to shift my body and mind’s “fight or flight” loop, we did not know what to do and our options seemed few. There wasn’t enough money to hire help, and we couldn’t impose on our families to meet our needs, considering our complex healing diet and Hallie’s special needs. After we weighed everything, you announced that you would take on the responsibilities of the home, run the tea business remotely, and care for me and our three babies, including all of the cooking, cleaning, and night time wakings with the baby. And you did. And I rested. And I started to heal, and even started to thrive. You were Jesus-with-skin-on to me every day, putting your needs and wants last (every. single. day), in order to nourish me, restore me back to health, and bring me into a new understanding of my worth. It still brings me to my knees. Such love. Such incredible faith expressed through deeds. Such strength. Truly walking the walk, in the footsteps of Christ, who laid it all down for undeserving recipients.

So this 37th year of your life, my prayer is that you will reap the goodness, lavish generosity, kindness, patience, and love that you have sown into others. My prayer is that you will be seen for the man that you truly are, and that you will enjoy great favor whatever you put your hands to. My prayer is that you will enjoy your friendships – old and new – and that you will know their support and loyalty. My prayer is that you will feel alive in your vocational pursuits, and that you will discover deeper wells of ingenuity and creativity than you ever imagined. My prayer is that you will live from a place of rest, and that your spirit, soul, and body would come into greater wholeness and health than ever before. It is true that the measure of a man is not in strength, riches, or knowledge, but in how much he loves and is loved. Know that you are loved with everything in me, and that I am eternally grateful that you chose me to walk next to you. Happy birthday, Jonathan, my gift of God.

I love you forever,
Your beloved

January 6, 2014   No Comments

1,000 Gifts – Week #6

#36. Farm fresh eggs from Wendy, the mail carrier. You’ve never seen more glorious, bright orange yolks.

#37. Orthodox Jewish man at the park with his 8th child.

#38. Watching the faithful Jews in our neighborhood walk to synagogue. Families walking arm in arm at sundown to worship.

#39. Valentine’s breakfast made with love by my beloved husband. Heart-shaped eggs for me, and heart-shaped toast for the little guy, served up on a bright pink plate.

#40. Pink skies on a walk at dusk.

#41. Finding the perfect gift for a friend who just needs to know that God sees. Truly, it is better to give than to receive.

#42. Our business that feels more like a family than a business. So grateful to be a part of bringing peace, joy, and healing to people in our city. May His presence fill our business and may every one who enters experience His unfailing love! May the tea bring healing to all – spirit, soul, and body!

#43. Fresh veggies from our neighborhood CSA. I love having a box of wholesome goodness from a real farm, picked by real farmers, delivered to me each week!

#44. That all things really do work together for my good. How would I live if I really believed this was true? Goodbye fear. Goodbye, shame. Hello, perfect love.

#45. New eyes. His eyes. Eyes that see as He sees. Goodness all around me, all the time. His constant pursuit to remind me that it is enough for me to be simply beloved. I love this message by Graham Cooke.

February 14, 2011   No Comments

1,000 Gifts – Week #5

#26. Ann Voskamp. I seriously love this woman and am on a first name basis with her in my mind. I refer to her almost on a daily basis with my husband – “Yeah, today Ann posted the most amazing thing on xyz…” If you have not done it yet, get yourself to her blog, and more importantly, buy her new book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. My copy arrived this week, and I can already tell you that I will not be lending it out. :)

#27. Bible study. A new semester has begun! I never realize how much I really need to be in the company of amazing women who love God until I am with them and then I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner. I especially love learning from women who have been walking with Jesus longer than I have been alive. These are my true heroes (Psalm 16:3).

#28. That Jesus still heals our sicknesses and diseases. Preston, Abigail, and I all got our billionth cold of the season this week. Our family is contending for authority over sickness and disease just like Jesus promised we would have, so of course we have had our fair share of illnesses this Fall. Our faith muscles have been tested and are being strengthened! Alas, Jesus came, and all three of us were healed of our colds. To Jesus be the glory, and may He continue to strengthen us to walk in divine health!

#29. Parents who are willing to spend their Sunday hanging lights at our house and doing other “handy” jobs. I am pretty sure our walls would be mostly bare if it was not for them.

#30. In-laws who are willing to spend their Sunday night at our house while our kids sleep so that my beloved husband and I can go on a date. Some of you are hating me now. Yes, we have both sets of parents in town. No, I have never had to hire a babysitter. Yes, I do know how blessed we are.

#31. Blueberries. I don’t care that they are not in season and that they have traveled 2,000 miles from Chile to get to us in Texas. Giving Preston blueberries after nap time restored my sanity this week. Let’s see how long it continues.

#32. Dreams. The kind you have at night. I don’t know what I would do if God did not speak to me in my dreams. I love hearing Him in this way. It makes me hunger for His presence more deeply and causes me to seek out the hidden treasures He is speaking in the night and at all times. Having insomnia in November and December was not only horrible because I was so tired I could not function, but I also missed the messages God would speak in the night. Thank You, Father, for restoring my sleep and blessing me with dreams from You.

#33. Hot tea on cold winter days. I have literally been putting four tea pots in the dishwasher each day. Four. It’s a darn good thing we own a tea business because I would be spending a fortune this month on Lemon Lavender alone. I love it.

#34. Hope. That the seasons change – there is the dying that comes in winter, the rebirth in spring, the glory of summer, and the harvest that comes in fall. Each season is necessary and productive in its own way. Something is always happening. I am finally embracing the hiddenness of winter, knowing that a deep work is happening though it is not visible. I have great hope that the seed will sprout up in its timing.

#35. Courage. Doing something I was afraid to do, but doing it anyway. That is my definition of courage. And I did it this week. And it wasn’t nearly as terrible as I thought it was going to be. Yep. This is the year that fear will no longer be a part of my life. For me, this is the Year of Jesus. And He was not afraid. Of anything. Or anyone.

January 24, 2011   No Comments

Pearl earrings

A few weeks ago I had a dream – one that I almost wrote off as a nothing dream, until Something prompted me to share it with my husband over breakfast, the way we do every morning. It was a simple dream – short, low on intensity, and not necessarily “spiritual” – at least at first glance. It went like this:

I dreamed that one of my pearl earrings broke and that I was taking it to get repaired. The repair shop was in Houston and normally would take a long time to get it back since I would have to wait for it to be sent to Austin. It turned out, however, that we were going to be traveling to Houston and would be able to pick them up instead. I felt very glad in the dream that I was going to receive my pearls back quickly. End of dream.

Silly dream, right? Means nothing. That’s what I thought too after I first woke up. Then I thought, “No, God has used pearls to speak to me in the past. This must mean something more. I think I’ll look into this.” So I pulled out one of my newest favorite books called “The Divinity Code: The Keys to Decoding your Dreams and Visions.” I first went to earrings, sensing that earrings would speak something about hearing God or listening to him. As it turns out, that is exactly what earrings represent, “Hearing.” There were detailed interpretations for different types of earrings included as well. Next, I looked up pearls. This was the best part. Pearls represent, “Jesus Christ”; “Revelations of God’s Word (spiritual treasure); and “The Kingdom,” along with a few definitions that didn’t apply. Putting it all together, I now understood that the speedy repair of my broken pearl earring was packed with promise and blessing! God was going to mend the communication lines between Him and me, and bring great spiritual treasure as I listen for His voice. It was already happening.

This dream has been life-changing. I have felt like communication with Him has been broken for the past few years. I haven’t received spiritual treasures from His Word in the past few years the way I did in seasons past. And I desperately wanted to. I wonder if He has been communicating these subtle messages over the past few years, but my heart was too distracted to seek them out (or I was too sleep-deprived to notice with two babies). Regardless, my heart is awake now, and I am looking for Him to speak to me constantly. Waking or sleeping, reading His Word or even a magazine, through every man, woman, or child – believer or not- seeking messages of His truth and love, His heart to mine. And boy is He speaking a lot. And as He does, my joy just keeps growing. Just as He promises in Psalm 16:11, “In His presence there is fullness of joy and in His right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” As I seek His presence in everything, He shows me His pursuit of me – His constant, fervent, lavish pursuit of me. And I become convinced that I am His favorite, the apple of His eye. And my cup runs over and joy overtakes me. And I never want to go back to broken pearl earrings. I haven’t even wanted to wear any other earrings in my jewelry collection because the pearls remind me that I am seeking greater treasure – His voice of love over me. This is where I want to live.

So, I wonder what subtle messages God has been sending your way to woo you, thrill you, and fill your heart with joy. There is no doubt that He is speaking, only sometimes His messages are hidden so that we will seek further. For “it is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” (Proverbs 25:2) My friends, won’t you join me in this adventure of seeking after treasure?

January 22, 2011   1 Comment

1,000 Gifts – Week #3

#13. The second trimester. Energy back, nausea gone, mood swings diminished. Well, mostly. :)

#14. Surprise gifts. New slippers arrived in the mail from my Beloved Husband. Looking forward to weather cool enough to warrant them.

#15. The head of the year. Every September a shift takes place and we leave the old behind and enter into the new. I love new beginnings. May this Yom Kippur leave you encouraged as you leave behind offenses and make reconciliation a reality in your life. Praise the Lamb, who takes away the sins.

#16. Small beginnings. We don’t always know the end of the story, but we do trust that if we plant seeds, surely we will reap. We plant. We plant. And we plant some more. He is faithful to cause the growth.

#17. Adding value. New paint, trimmed trees, a fresh mum on the porch. Improving our peaceful home one project at a time. It feels good.

#18. Getting away – just the two of us. What a joy to spend a day enjoying time together, away from the day-to-day routine. Even better that both the little one and the grandparents loved their time together too. Oh, and still better that we got to visit my newly married sister and brother-in-law in their new home.

#19. Fresh revelation on a familiar scripture. For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE…He loved, so He gave. Still enjoying the beauty of this truth. Father, may Your extravagant love for people be seen through me through extravagant generosity.

September 28, 2009   No Comments

1,000 Gifts – Week #2

I skipped last week, but boy was I busy counting the gifts. I am hooked. Thanks for joining me in this gift of remembering our gifts.

#6. Positive outcomes. Early Spring will be a busy and exceedingly joyful time as we welcome our second miracle.

Yes, that is a plus sign! We are overjoyed that Baby #2 will join our wild household at the end of March.

Yes, that is a plus sign! We are overjoyed that Baby #2 will join our wild household at the end of March.

#7. Longings fulfilled.

My sister and best friend, Shelly, is at last joined with her perfect match, Thomas. It is true - those who wait for the Lord shall not be disappointed. Have you ever seen a more beautiful, radiant bride?

My sister and best friend, Shelly, is at last joined with her perfect match, Thomas. It is true - those who wait for the Lord shall not be disappointed. Have you ever seen a more beautiful, radiant bride?

#8. Nausea, fatigue, and all the other parts of morning sickness. A healthy baby is growing. Thanks, God, for the Saltines!

An essential for trimester one. God definitely invented Saltines.

An essential for trimester one. God definitely invented Saltines.

#9. Fruit bowls delivered right before bed and the moment I awake by Beloved Husband. Helps with #8. At least it did with Baby #1. This one is different! I eat it anyway.

Even better than the fruit, is the heart behind it. Thank You, Father, for love and faith lived out through Your beloved Jonathan. Thank You for daily kisses from You through him. My heart overflows.

Even better than the fruit, is the heart behind it. Thank You, Father, for love and faith lived out through Your beloved Jonathan. Thank You for daily kisses from You through him. My heart overflows.

#10. Sleeping in until 8 am. Doesn’t happen often, but when it does I savor it more than a massage. It feels down right indulgent!

#11. Worshipping to the sounds of angels. Follow this link to hear two of God’s beloveds usher a captured audience into His presence at my sister’s wedding.

#12. Having the opportunity to raise up a future leader and world changer, who, by God’s grace, will point others to truth, justice, and above all, Love Himself.

A budding Constitutionalist, Preston, reads mama's pocket sized version. Oh that he would be armed with the Word in one hand and the Constitution in the other.

A budding Constitutionalist, Preston, reads mama's pocket sized version. Oh that he would be armed with the Word in one hand and the Constitution in the other.

August 25, 2009   No Comments