After a hard HARD couple weeks I have my Grace Mary home with me for Christmas Break. Recently she was told the veins on her face were ugly, and she’s become self conscious about her hair. So today as I curled her hair I told her the things I love about her…

I love that she’s NOT perfect.

I love that she knows when she does wrong, and always makes the right choice(even if it takes sometime.)

I love that she knows how to apologize.

I love that she is always willing to forgive.

I love that she is an includer.

I love that she makes everything fun- grocery shopping, walking around the block, even grabbing the mail.

I love her kind heart.

I love that she feels empathy.

I love that she will always stick up for someone else.

I love that she is a loyal faithful friend.

I love that she will always hug her brothers.

I love that she can do real live full on push ups.

I love that she loves traditions, just like her Mama.

I love that she laughs hard at Jokes.

I love that she still plays pretend.

I love that she tries so hard at everything she does.

I love that she makes friends with people who are different than her.

I love that she loves scary stories.

I love that she loves so hard, and big.

I love that she loves making and giving presents to people.

I love that she always shares her things.

I love that she sings wherever she goes, and doesn’t realize it.

I love that she loves God, and prays.

I love that she tries new things.

I love how grateful she is.

I love that last summer she was best friends at tap with a 78 year old woman and a boy with Autism and she never ever treated them differently. She saw them.

I love that she is willing to use the word No.

I love that she can legitimately beat all of us at cards, and shows no mercy.

I love that she will always tell me things, even the hard things.

I love that she still will crawl in with me.

I love that she’s my daughter.

I love her nose that has a perfect kiss spot above it, and her olive skin tone like her Dad’s, I love her veins(because I have them too). I love her strong arms and legs that run fast. I love her dark hair, and hazel eyes that smile. I love her dimples that exude so much joy.

I love that she has overcome so much, and will always appreciate her life, because she knows what it’s like to fight for it.

I. Love. All. Of. Her.

We will not be done with hard days. I’m sure we’ll encounter many Regina George’s over the years. But we’ll be ok. She’ll be just fine.

I am not raising a perfect daughter. But I am raising a kind one.

Thank God for curling irons. And thank God for my amazing Grace.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42


I’m a Martha. Seriously. I am totally and completely Martha.

In fact, I have a timer set for how long I have to write this post*…because I have a list of a million other things I need to get done. A million ways I later will realize I’m behind. I won’t catch up. But I’ll try.

This isn’t an Advent thing. This is a Me thing.

I wasn’t always a Martha. In fact for many years I was a Mary.

I would watch and look and see everything, and I would wait so patiently to watch it all unfold.

I would jump and dream.

I would ride, and ride. (Without a helmet of course- DO NOT tell my kids) And I would rest in the Lord and wait upon him, and I just knew everything would work out.

But then anxiety came and stayed. And slowly I didn’t have time to be a Mary, because Martha moving could make sure things worked and turned, and were finished. Martha was dependable. Martha was in control. Martha was a peace maker, because she made sure that everyone he was taken care of. Martha could be on time, and would stay late to help clean up. Martha shows up. Martha made sure lunches were made, and kids got homework done and showered…even if that meant she didn’t get time to herself. But there were things to do.

Martha gets shit done.

And that doesn’t mean Martha has it all together. Martha is on the verge of falling a part a lot of the time because her “no” is broken, she doesn’t get enough sleep, and knows things don’t always work out. She gets that now.

I often don’t have a lot of patience for Mary’s. I’m embarrassed to admit that.

I just don’t know how to make time to be a Mary.

Maybe it’s the pace of life. Everything is moving too damn fast. Or the heartache that comes with growing older…watching marriages break apart and dissolve, watching people grieve their children, take care of their aging parents. Maybe it’s watching my children’s faces changing, as they grow into their own people, and it makes every part of my being ache.

So I’m a Martha.

I love Jesus. And I will drop and pray with anyone, and be there for them…but when it comes the day to day stuff, the lists I have to try to get done, I expect others to do their part. Be there. Show up. I give grace, and I am a team player- I don’t have to be in charge, in fact I would prefer not to be. I’m not even type A, I’m type F. So actually in retrospect I’m kind of a crappy Martha.

Yesterday it just kind hit me. That right now, in this busy pace, I need to be more like Mary.

Because few things are needed. And I need to choose to let go a little. Not because it’s Advent. But because I am really really struggling. And I think it’s because I’ve been trying so hard to keep it together. And I can name about 20 women I know right now struggling with this.

This is real life. And right now we are all on the verge of falling a part.

And it’s not because we want to do it all. Or even that we think we can. It’s because somehow along the way we just kept adding things, and carrying them. So much so when we sit in Church, our arms are so full of stuff, we can’t even clasp our hands to pray. And if we open them, we may have to admit it’s all getting heavy.

We’ve become hyper sensitive, because we’re just trying to hold it together. And we see all these other Martha’s doing it better, and we’re jealous of the Mary’s and their care free faith.

Damn you social media, and your filters, and Pinterest…only because I hate Pinterest. I don’t need a clip board of a better way to do laundry…I just need someone to DO my laundry.

And then there’s the part I never want to admit…

For me it’s also acknowledging that I live with a constant underlying sense of inadequacy. I need to prove myself. I need to prove that I am a good enough wife, mother, coworker, that I can accomplish big hard things. That if my kids are successful, maybe just maybe maybe, that means I was too. Because maybe it will prove that even when no one believed I could…I did. And then eventually, maybe, I’ll see that.

Martha had to prove herself.

Mary…she believed. And she found grace. And it’s been my entire life’s goal for my kids. To never feel this way. To never fight this battle. To never feel pitted against others. To just be the beautiful children of God they are meant to be. Good Humans. Believe, and of course work hard, but believe and sit and know God loves them.

I almost pulled over the day I started writing this because on the radio I heard a beautiful quote…God doesn’t want our success, He wants our surrender.

So here I am, a self professed, falling a part trying to prove myself mess, Martha giving my surrender.

I surrender. I’m waving my white flag God. I’m right here.

Surrendering. Choosing God. My Faith above all. Even when I know it won’t always work out. Being like Mary.

My Faith…will not be taken from me.

So suck it Pinterest.

I’m just gonna pray.

*my timer went off 8 times writing this post, over a five day period. And my laundry still isn’t caught up.

“Mommy I want to treat you to a spa day! It’s just what you need.” She said.

Her eye always twinkle when she gets her big ideas.

She wanted to treat me.

Once again we are in the season of busy. I’m constantly trying to catch up…on chores, on sleep, on life. I spend more time in my car than I do at home.

There are so many things I’ve wanted to do…write, work out, walk aimlessly around a store. I don’t have a TV show I get to look forward to, because I don’t have time to watch TV. Every single part of our life seems to be busy.

They are good things, and yet, I know I’m not getting to enjoy a lot. Because my whole day is filled to the brim.

But she wanted to do this…for me.

Long ago I stopped putting my needs up front. Slowly like a game on the “Price is Right” my stuff has plunked down to the bottom. And that’s ok. Because someday I’ll miss this busy. Someday I’ll long for the Friday Night Games, and the lawn chairs at Football or Soccer.

Someday I’ll wait for them to call.

But right now, she wants this with me.

There was laundry to do. And the kitchen was a mess. But I told her “Yes.” I arrived home from picking up the middle schoolers and she was waiting in the driveway…

“Welcome to the Princess Crown Day Spa” she said. She shook my hand and welcomed me in.

She brought me in where she had set up a facial and massage table. A corner for pedicures and another table for manicures and make overs.

Her name was Mrs White…but she asked me to call her McKenzie.

She did my facial(she gots tips from a Fancy Nancy book). It was my first ever facial and massaged my hair. She loves when her Dad and I play with hers and so she did that.

She told me about her life. She’s 17, and just adopted a baby from

Africa named Candace. She said being a Mom is the best job she’s ever had.

She did my nails next. She asked me about my day and took her time with each nail. She made sure I was comfortable and felt taken care of.

Then she gave me a make over. She gave me “band makeup” and used blush and “dramatic” eye shadow, and surprised me with bright pink lipstick. She even let me take a picture with her.

And she must’ve said 10 times “Let me take care of you…” It isn’t lost on me that in the last couple years my kids have been subjected to the ups and downs of my health. But they’ve also seen me do my best every day to take care of them. It is my greatest, and most important job.

While it meant so much for my Grace to do these things for me, and share these things she loves with me…it meant an incredible amount to me as well. Because I was reminded(again) about how important being present is.

This season of busy is hard, but for different reasons. We are in unknown territory in parts of our parenting, and it terrifies me. And our whole world right now…it’s a hard place for me to be- raising good humans, and God fearing humans. I often fantasize about packing it all up, going off the grid- way out of cell range, and just being with my little family again. Their worlds are getting bigger, and some parts of it breaks my heart.

Everyday I commit to being with them. Loving them. Being on social media, and my phone less, and looking at them. And bring honest in the hard moments, and being real in the beautiful busy moments.

God keeps telling me “Let me take care of you..” and I keep trying. But it’s a hard place to give up control- parenting and letting go.

But my Grace?

She was right. My spa day was just what I needed. All of it.

Her twinkle. Her imagination. Her heart. Her big ideas.

It’s what matters most.

Laundry can pile up.

Dishes will get done eventually.

But time isn’t waiting. I’ve got be present in the right now. The right here.

Beautiful moments aren’t in our live feeds. They are in the living beings before our eyes. They are in the people who should

matter most. That’s just what we need. They are just want we need. He can take care of all the rest. Right here.

To God be the Glory. K

That one kid. You know the one.

The one who has lived through Hell.

The one who lived through Hell even when you were all fighting…fighting so hard to get them safe.

That one kid. You know the one.

The one who is guarded with walls of secrets from a world no child should have to ever endure.

That one kid. You know the one.

Who seems like a hardened adult in the small body of a child. For almost a year you’d lay awake at night, and think about their safety.

That one kid. You know the one.

The one you all were fighting for…

Praying to God for someone to save them.

Until the day someone did.

And you knelt right there in the nurse’s office and cried your heart out.

And the transitioning from trauma to real life?

It wasn’t easy. And it’s still not.

And yet…none of you…ever give up…

On this face.

On this child.

Who never asked for any of this, but knows that here…there is safety.

That one kid. You know the one.

The one that you give hugs to. And balance. And structure. And boundaries. The one you always make eye contact with. The one you tell “I am so proud of you…”

Left a picture across your keyboard…

And asked you later…

“Did you see it? Did you see it Miss Kristin?”

“Yes, I saw it,” you answer and hug the most resilient broken little person. Who is fought for by a small army, and so loved.

“Yes…We saw you.”

to God be the glory. ❤️k

The last two months we’ve had the most brilliant bright sunsets in the sky.

The last two months all my home states, have been burning.

Montana, Washington, and my home for the last 20 years, Oregon.

Last week we couldn’t even see the sky any more. I would sneeze and taste fire. In my Throat, in my chest.

On the other side of the country, water has poured down. Flooding cities. Rushing and breaking, and disassembling, leaving nothing behind.

Each end of the country is bracing for what’s next.

There are things bigger than all of us.

And we are so divided. In so many ways.

At least that’s what social media tells me.

This week happened…the smoke began to clear…and yet, Another hurricane. Terrorists attacked across the ocean. A trooper was shot outside of town. The world suddenly feels so small, and close. I prayed for people I don’t know. Things I don’t understand.

This morning the smoke was back.

Hazy. Closing in.

Here, in my little corner of the

earth, big things have happened.

The ground beneath me in places that I thought were safe have shifted.

I had to make choices I didn’t want to make. In fact it was the hardest, most difficult decisions I’ve had to make. Walking away on shaking legs from something I had built, and love desperately.

Suddenly something God had called me to, became something God told me to walk away from. It has left my heart broken. In fact I can’t talk about it without tearing up. I can’t write about it without my hands shaking.

And I can’t share the details because it is bigger than me, and people are involved and, darn it, it’s just so hard to be a grown up…

But it has me, totally, and completely crushed. And that’s the truth.

I’ve been afraid. Because I don’t know what’s next.

And I don’t know the Why…not really.

I just know God sometimes speaks through the hardest things. So I’m waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

For the smoke to clear. For the next step.

I’ve been waiting most of the time on my knees. I’ve found myself called to that lately. Praying on my knees, completely surrendering what I don’t know.

I’m not good at it. I’m not a patient person(ask my kids).

But in the waiting there lies my Faith.

Being Faithful is something I’m clinging to…until I know.

I do know something.

I know God is good.

I know God is real.

I know God has never ever led us to a place to desert us.

So I’m trusting in that…in the waiting. In the brokenness.

I read this quote last week…

“Being Faithful does not mean you are fearless. It just means your faith is greatest than your fear.” -Christine Caine

So I wait.

In Faith.

to God be the glory.

Ps. I need to give a shout out to my kids and my husband who have lived with me this last month. They are amazing…and their love and faithfulness is a gift to me.

It was never about the pizza. But I want you to know I burned it.

But you couldn’t tell. It was just always there.

Like my body.

I don’t know when the first time I realized I didn’t like my body was, I think it was always just there.

I realized in fourth grade that my mom wore a smaller jeans size than me. Which was hard for me to understand because my Mom always seemed to be working on her body. She was, even then, tiny and petite.

I have always favored my Dad’s side, the German Irish side- with thick thighs, and broader frame. Even at my thinnest I am always much bigger than my sisters, and my Mom.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized I started falling into comparing myself in early elementary. I compared myself to my siblings, and then my classmates. From my looks- I was always too pale, too blonde. I wasn’t fast, or athletic. I didn’t feel I measured up, and couldn’t keep up.

I started skipping meals in middle school.

It seemed easier to skip meals. Because even back then I had become so aware of how to diet. To cut back, rather than deal with big feelings.

I carried those “feelings” around for years after that. I was an insecure friend. I was a clingy girlfriend. These qualities were not endearing. When someone broke up with me I would always blame the way I looked…not even registering it was because I was bat shit insecure. My parents sent me to counseling, but when I was there I never talked about my anxiety, my body issues. I talked about surface stuff, I didn’t want the counselor to not like me.

I was ashamed of that part of me. Of my body.

And then I tasted a reprieve. My senior year. The year I traveled full time in ministry. Both years I was free from any sort of body issue. And I can give you one reason.


I always knew Jesus but I kept him on the side lines of that part of my life. It wasn’t until I chose Him the second time that I started loving myself. I look back on those years with gratitude. Because I was free.

My husband and I were friends for over a year before we started dating. He knew me, and my issues. And he still pursued me anyway. I showed him my crazy, and he still showed up at my door…again, and again, and again. The man has got to be a Saint. Because no one, no one, has ever loved me so much in my life. So I kept it hidden, all the burnt parts, all the bad angles because of him, and because of my desire to not let it rule our marriage.

I have failed many times in this.

Because of my own childhood- I have also hidden these thoughts from my kids for years. It has been my greatest gift to them, besides sharing my faith. I didn’t want them to have to carry in them what has been burned under the surface in me for too long.

And I have had great successes with it. I have been successful in doing things the right way, being healthy the best way. And I shared it. And I taught it. But it was still there, just simmering. Even at my best I would hear “But you could be better. You could run that marathon and not get injured.” And I would compare…with my sisters, with my colleagues, with my friends. Because that is what I knew. That is who I was.

And suddenly everything changed. My body became something I didn’t recognize. The burnt places became visible as my symptoms became something I couldn’t hide.


The worst part is that no matter how hard I tried to get the burnt smell out, tried to fight the symptoms…fatigue, losing my hair, weight gain, confusion, loss of energy, anxiety, body aches, swelling…LOSS OF ME! It never left. And I LOST ME!(do you hear me scream that?) I was losing me. I went from being a friend people liked to work out with, to someone they used to see at the gym. I have mourned who I used to be. I’ve mourned the people I used to be close to, especially those who I thought would always be there. I’ve mourned the old me. Even if I had to hide the burnt pieces. Because I still saw my hard work. Because I still recognized myself.

Now all I saw was closed doors. And a body that had betrayed me.

… three. years. of. this.

But even through all of it, I’ve kept begging God to heal me. I’ve kept searching for answers. And I did things. I got a different job. I began to sing again. I began to just pray and ask God to just be with me…and He has. Because I didn’t have a lot of prayer left in me- but those words I could say…on repeat.

In the loneliest few years of my life He has shown up…

In my children’s hearts. In their prayers. In who they are.

Suddenly there it was. All of it. The truth. The big huge truth.

I realized that something in my heart needed to change.

And that’s when shit got real. That’s why I need to get real with you…

I realized that for as long as I could remember it was never about my Body.

But I want you to know I had made everything about it.

I had made my relationship with my body and self worth, more important that my relationship with my God.

It has consumed me. I was chained to it.

And it started so much longer than 3 years ago. It started when I was ten years old.

And the realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Actually it didn’t. It hit me like traveling with 93 high schoolers, on a charter bus. Which I did. And when it hit me…when it came to me, the chains that broke off were incredible. And I did something.

I laughed. I laughed so hard I cried. I laughed so hard my ribs hurt. I laughed like I hadn’t laughed since I was a little girl.

And suddenly, I loved my strong broken body.

In the middle of Disneyland, I put my swollen ankles over a bench and I laughed.

Because I was free.

Because for the first time in as long as I could remember it wasn’t about my body…it was about God.

It was about His Promise. His Grace. And His Joy.

And I am so happy.

Not because it’s all better. But because I’m free.

I’m finally free.

It was never about the pizza. But I want you to know I burned it.

I allowed those constant thoughts and comparisons to burn through and within my soul for years, and even if no one else could see them. They were there. And they stole my freedom.

So now what?

I’m letting God be my God. Nothing else. And I’m entrusting him with my body. My strong broken body. My health. My freedom. My marriage. Our beautiful family.

And I can give you one reason.


I often share the quote “we are only as sick as our secrets…” so putting this out there, and sharing this real-charred part of me puts to light a heaviness I’ve carried too closely. But I don’t want it to be a secret anymore, because I don’t want to allow it to make me sick anymore. And I want to keep choosing this freedom, even if I don’t know what’s next…

But I do know God is good.

And there’s joy. So much joy.

Ps. So you can hear what freedom and joy sounds like. ❤️I love that our shirts say Jesus Strong…no truer words have been spoken. (Also I love my friends Lisa and Luba- who I will always share this day- this joy with)

When Jonah was 5 he did soccer.

Well, actually whenever they started to run after the ball, he would just start running…off the field, through football practices, just running. I would have Daniel in a front pack and be chasing after him.

Recently this whole growing up thing has me frantically running after him. I can’t keep up with technology, in fact I hate all the pressure/unnecessary it brings, and I don’t understand why something being lit is cool. How do I explain to him how much the stuff he has to deal with today scares me?

These days loving him now is making hard decisions in parenting and setting limits, while still letting him grow into his own person. Trying to balance it all is hard.

Because(to me), he’s still this guy. He’s still my wide eyed beautiful light who looks at everything with fresh innocent eyes.

I’m still very much that 22 year old girl holding the the newborn- best thing that ever happened to me tight to my chest promising to never let go. To always protect him.

I’m still that 24year old that sat next to him shrieking on a curb outside a restaurant during one of his toddler meltdowns while he was in time out, saying over and over “I’ll just wait until you’re ready to be calm. I’ll just wait right here.”

I’m still the 26 old who sat on the floor of his bedroom as he and his little brother raced match box cars across the floor and had to tell him his little sister wasn’t in my tummy anymore, and that she’d gone to heaven..”But out of all the little boys and girls in all the world, how were Mommy and Daddy so blessed to have a Jonah, and a Daniel, and now a Mary in heaven.”

I’m still the 28 year old who sat next to him, trying to keep up, during his Toy Story obsession. And then through his Star Wars obsession. Then his Pokémon obsession. Then his Star Wars obsession. TheN his bey blade obsession. Then his Star Wars obsession. Then his Harry Potter obsession. And then his Star Wars obsession. Then his Mariner’s Obsession. “That’s amazing buddy. Yep I was listening the whole time.” I’ve loved every minute.

Gosh, how do I explain to him, that even though He has the whole world in front of him…he’s still my world? He may be growing up. But I’m still Me.

So I stand by. I wait for those moments when my tall lanky boy puts his arms around me, and I know I’m enough for him. And I pray protection over him. And I pray for his relationships, his choices, and his Faith. I pray He never
loses sight of how much that can and will guide his life. I pray that for all my kids. On the good days , and the hard days.

And I love him. I love him so much.

I won’t ever catch up with time. I can’t run fast enough. But I will trust God. And Jonah knows that no matter what happens, he is loved. He is so very loved. No matter how far He may run away. God will be right there waiting. And so will I. The whole time.

To God be the Glory. k

The last four years have been hard. My health went from being optimal to slowing creeping and spiraling down to a place I don’t know. A person I don’t often recognize. Last month I was so hopeful my surgery would reap answers, and I did get a good one- I’m cancer free, but a whole new door became opened. Another surgery looms, and most of my questions are still there. 

Every morning when I wake up I tell myself “today…today I will be able to be me again, today I will be able to run and have energy again,” and not feel like my body has betrayed me. I haven’t written much about this, and I haven’t wanted to share much because I am someone who is hopeful…every closed door, every month where things haven’t improved have left me feeling hopeless and discouraged. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much this has effected my family. 

This morning I looked over the vastness of Crater Lake, probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen and I thought about how a huge mountain erupted into the ground creating something different, something so beautiful you can’t look away. Maybe that’s what God is doing to me, maybe he’s taking every pretense, every confidence and creating a hole in me that only he can fill. 


Today I am working on focusing on the good. But I feel that in order to be real, I have to focus on the deep crevices too. Because right now…that’s where I am. This is where I am. 

Looking at Crater Lake made me feel Hope, maybe not in my health, but Hope in the Glory of God. 

Maybe hope can bloom in me again.  In the right now.

*i had to hike up a hill to write this as I have no wifi, and a deer ran right by me and Danny. I swear God and Nature are in cahoots. 

March 20, 2013.

On Sunday Jonah had a piano recital.  Which means he got a hair-cut.  So he sat in the chair in our kitchen as I draped the heavy black cape over him.  I give hair cuts to all the “men” in my house.  Micah is the easiest, because he loves getting his hair trimmed. Daniel is fine, though he gets a bit whiny.   And Jonah and Dyp are the hardest. I don’t know if it’s because they both have similarly coarse hair which grows every which way, and it gets uncomfortable and sometimes pull as I run the clippers,  or because they think it’s a good time to test my patience. Dyp being the only real man that lives here, has gotten better.  For a long time I refused to let him talk as I cut his hair.  I dreaded giving hair cuts, but it is so cost effective we can’t really afford not to. In fact after the first time I cut his hair, he went to work and the Sergeant told him he had to go and get a hair cut before he could hit the street(it looked THAT bad). I was mortified and refused to cut it again until I had watched enough You Tube Videos that I felt confident.  So, as reluctant as I was, and unskilled I cut all their hair.

Truth be told; I love the look of their freshly trimmed hair, and I love knowing that I did it. 

So, Jonah got a hair cut. Maybe he realized I needed a day of rest but he didn’t complain once.  In fact it was as if I was being paid to do this job, and he opened up to me.  I felt like a real live hair dresser, for about 5 minutes.  Jonah has never really confided in me.  He is very close to his Dad, so if he is ever going to tell me something I have to practically sit on him to get whatever is on his mind out. But he just started talking to me.  He confided in me about someone who is mean to him.  Earlier this school year we had a reaccuring bully issue.  Unfortunately I didn’t know about it until it had been happening for a couple of months. Jonah, had tried to deal with it on his own, was embarrased, and was hesistant to tell us. But one day it flooded out…that was how it was today. As the natural sunlight lit up our kitchen–He told me about how everytime we are around a certain person they are very mean to him and his brothers.  He said he really wants this person to like him.  I explained that if this person isn’t nice, they aren’t the kind of person we need in our lives.  But of course as with life, it’s not that simple. 

After I talked to him about this, and told him that I would personally moniter this situation the next time.  I thought about my own life, my own advice. Recently I had realized that I didn’t like someone, didn’t like being around them, was trying to “will” myself to like them, so that maybe they would be nicer to me.  Or atleast less offensive.  As a kid you’re told you need to be friends with every one…which is hard when the other person is a butt. And yes I know…even buttheads need love, but still. 

July 13, 2017 

All these years later, I still cut their hair. Over the years I’ve also cut my sister’s hair, my Spanish daughter’s hair, and some of my boys friend’s hair too. I’ve learned how to layer hair thanks to having a daughter. I’ve never been paid except for in Diet Dr Pepper. I’ve made mistakes and cut hair too short, and had a teenager not speak to me for the remainder of the night. I’ve shaved two of them bald in honor of people fighting cancer. And My husband has much more grey these days as I cut his hair, but these days I let him talk.
Now as each of my boys have grown I wait for the moments when the flood of words come out and they share their hearts with me. 

 Jonah and I have become very close in the last year, and I’m so thankful he has two parents he feels comfortable sharing things with. But sometimes it’s weeks or months until he shares the real stuff he’s going through. Sometimes I feel like I’m just talking and filling up the space. He now knows there are real monsters out there. He’s not naive, and sometimes I just want to move away from all of this because I see my beautiful boy has become hardened by real hurts and deep disappointments. He has a life and relationships I don’t always know about. He is close to us, and yet is growing into his own person. And He is in love(what?!). Sometimes I just want him to tell me his stuff, it doesn’t even have to be big stuff…I just want to feel a part of his life. 

Daniel will talk to me, especially right before bed, but prefers his Dad. His Dad has always been his person. I cling to the times he does open up to me. Sometimes his heart gets overwhelmed with gratitude or moved by his Faith and we both cry. His faith inspires me every day. He has been a rock to one of his closest friends who lost his Dad, he is the friend I always know will show up. And he has shown that time and again.  And yet, he is still very much a teenage boy. I think I will still need to call him when he’s 30 to remind him to pick up his socks. 

And Micah loves to tell me about every detail of school, sports game, and situation. He loves to tell me riddles and jokes, and all of his amazing stories. But when things have hurt him, or things are hard he buries those things deep down in his heart. I told him recently how if you don’t let your self feel things and if you cover them up too tight, you can poison your heart by letting them sit and not be settled. He came in later that night and told me all the times that he felt or was burying because he didn’t want to get sick. Gosh, I love that kid. Gosh, I don’t want him to grow up. 

As for the girl…

Grace wants to cut hair someday. Or be a singer. Or be a teacher. Or a nurse. Or a farmer. And be a Mom. And she will and can do all of those things. She likes to tell me everything, everyday, sometimes even twice. 

And Dyp said he doesn’t ever want anyone else to cut his hair. I should marry him. And make out with him. 

Today as I read back over these old unpublished drafts I was able to step back into the then and see clearly in the now. I often try not to look back…it makes my heart hurt, I loved them all at every age. I don’t long for them to grow up. But then I get to see how beautiful they are. I see what faithful friends they are. I see how well they love. I see how real they live. And I realized that even if I wasn’t their mom, I would want to be their friend. They are much coooler than I ever was…because they are already so good at knowing who they are. It took me 38 years to know that. And a lot of days, I’m still working on being okay with her. 

So, I’ll continue to cut their hair, as long as they’ll let me. These days my boys buy me Diet Dr. Peppers with their own money when they go on walks. And I tell them I’m here, and when my kids tell me their “stuff” I hold it tight. I listen. And I hold them tight, and love every hair on their heads. Even when it’s shaggy. Even when they are buttheads(which they usually aren’t)…but still. I love them. 
…to God be the glory. 


When we were first married it drove Dyp crazy when He’d ask me if I wanted to do something and my answer was “Sure.” He has always been someone who is good at knowing what he wants, knowing what’s important, standing by what’s right. I mean the guy drove 8 hours to take me to coffee once. 8 hours. 

I, on the other hand, spend way too much time being anxious about details, who I may be offending, or how many points/calories/sugar grams is in anything …or any number of my obsessions before I make a decision. 

So, maybe that’s why I would just say “Sure.” Because maybe, deep down inside I wasn’t quite sure how to make my decisions count. Even when I know what God has called me to, my fear of messing up has caused me to stall.  It’s the same reasons I replay hard conversations for days and weeks, and it’s also the same reason I avoid the hardest conversations. 


Because I’m afraid I’m not good enough.

Because I’m afraid I’ll fail. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll pee my pants. 

Because I’m afraid you won’t like me anymore. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll gain weight. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll embarrass my kids. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll embarrass your kids. 

Because I’m afraid I’m too young. 

Because I’m afraid I’m getting too old. 

Because I’m afraid of your answer.

Because I’m afraid of what will happen. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll get my heart hurt. 

Because I’m afraid I’ll hurt you. 

Because I’m afraid of the unknown. 

Because I’m afraid things won’t be the same. 

Because I’m afraid things will never change. 

Because I’m afraid of letting people down. 

Sure. Sure. Sure. Sure. Sure. Sure. 

Unsure. Afraid. Uncertain. Insecure. Hesitant. 

And don’t get me wrong sometimes the uncertainty is overcome by the spirit in me and I do say something. Or do something. Especially when it comes to my family…but if I do, it means this has grown big and huge, and I can’t just say “Sure,” and go a long with it. If I say something that means the truth has become too big to ignore. 

But I still have to battle with the much larger piece of me that struggles with the “Unsure”  whether it’s fear of throwing things away to advocating for myself. 

And that is a detriment to my family. To my children. 

Because of that I am so incredibly thankful for who my husband is. He says Yes when he means Yes. And he knows that the word No is invaluable. And when he says something he means it. When he believes something He lives it. 

His Words mean something, and His Actions always reflect that. That is a beautiful gift He has given each of our Children. Equally and unconditionally. 

When He went on his First Camino(Read my Last Post) it changed our lives. Actually the Camino didn’t change our lives, God did. God used the miles to carve new spaces in my husband’s heart, to whittle away places in him that had hardened and place new life, and faith, and hope in him. And now as he and Jonah have finished their Camino together, all 150 miles of it, I see the beauty of the time that has been carved out for them. This gift to be together, to walk along side each other, to pray with and for each other. 

One of the entries from my husband’s journal 6 years ago has given me so much solace, and hope over the days they’ve been gone…about the Camino, and about life. 

“Slow down. Take more breaks. Keep nourished. Split the long trips into two days. Pay attention to our bodies. A small rub will turn into a blister, and a blister can become misery. In other words, little problems can become big problems if Ignored. There are so many more…and all the lessons of the Camino are applicable to life, spiritual and otherwise.” -June 18, 2011

When I sent those words to him, He said they were still true. And that he still hates cobblestone. Only this time our Jonah got to learn the lessons along side of him. And Jonah hates it too(if you walk 150 miles on it, you will agree).

And I’ve learned some lessons too. The heavy things weighing my mind the last months(years) haven’t went away, instead I’ve had to look at them head on. Some of them I can’t change. But I have been able to look at the places in my life that I need to change. I need to stop being afraid. It’s not going to be easy…but I believe God is calling me to say Yes to Him, and even admitting the things I couldn’t write here. The hard real stuff. 

Things are being carved and exposed in me, life long things, and I feel exposed. But I’m not alone. I’m “sure” of that. 

Because of a Good God. 

Who gave me this Man. 

(Dyp after he finished the Camino 6 years ago. He did 25 push ups with his back pack on.) 

And He gave me this life. This beautiful hard, glorious messy life. 

I may be unsure about many things, but this is a life I say Yes to. Without any shadow of a doubt. It’s not perfect. There are trials and debts. But there are miracles and riches beyond compare. 

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Because God gave me them. 

Our Jonah and his Dad after they finished. This is one of my favorite pictures. In fact I cry every time I look at it. In two years He and Daniel will take this picture…in Five he and Micah will. And in seven years we will both take Grace.

Yes, Lord, to all of it. 

-to God be the Glory. -kristin ann