True Gold








Today was one of those days where I spun my wheels & didn’t accomplish much “work” but then I stopped & reflected.

I woke Luke up, got him ready & put him on the bus.

I did a load of laundry & put it away.

I prayed with my husband.

I reordered Luke’s meds.

I washed two big pots.

I had a phone review with Luke’s caseworker.

I made a deposit at the bank.

I showered!

And walked two miles.

And did 30 pushups.

(Before my shower)

And registered my teen for school next year.

I sent my husband a text asking about his day.

And helped Annabelle wash 24 eggs.

And made a batch of banana bread.

And ran home just in time to get Luke off the bus when his caregiver canceled at the last minute.

And filled out paperwork from his folder.

And set out another package of briefs for the following day.

And brought the kids to after school activities.

And helped Annabelle practice her violin.

And coordinated a playdate for my daughter.

And ordered a birthday present for a party for my son’s friend.

And made dinner (leftovers, but still…)

And ordered groceries.

And paid a bill.

And went on a date with my husband.

And kissed my youngest goodnight.

Upon reflection, I did not accomplish much official work, but I did accomplish a lot in my true ministry, the ministry of family & that’s where the true gold lies.

I accomplished the ministry of motherhood.

Just keep livin.



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The Backstory to “When he Outgrew Cute.”

A few years ago, after a particularly difficult day with 15-year-old Lucas, I sat down and wrote a poem.  A poem that would end up going viral and reaching over 7 million people.  A poem that people resonated with from around the world. A poem I called “When He Outgrew Cute.”  Many have asked for the backstory of this poem.  Here’s a synopsis of the day.  





Oct 5, 2020

The day the poem was written. 

The kids and I ventured to the park on this beautiful fall break day. Luke usually loves this idea and welcomes a mid-afternoon break.

I put his socks and shoes on, made his juice, and walked him to the van.

Once there, the kids excitedly exited the van, and I encouraged Luke to join –

“Come on Luke! Let’s go Whee!”  I coaxed.

He screamed bloody hell and reached up to grab my hair.

I ducked just in time.

I tried again as a crowd at the nearby picnic table shot me compassionate looks or avoided looking at me altogether.

“Luke, let’s walk. You love to walk, remember?”

He began circling the van, around and around and around he went like a tiger trapped in a cage, searching each window for a way in, screaming as he paced –


He began to brutally yank on door handles, windshield wipers, and his mother’s body – willing each and every person around him to comply or pay the price.

A nearby father quickly grabbed his young son’s hand and moved away from the disturbance – the power struggle between a mama and her 15-year-old child.

“LUCAS AARON,” I hissed, “Do not ruin this for everyone.”

He didn’t care and instead reached for my arm and pulled me down onto the hot asphalt where we sat, and he screamed and stimmed, inconsolable and only wanting what made sense to him and no one else.

Only wanting to return home to his favorite brown chair with his favorite blue-covered iPad.  Only that and nothing else.

I sat beside him; fighting back tears. I sat there and remembered my once sweet little boy who was now an aggressive teenager and not so sweet if truth be told. I contemplated his future; our future. I contemplated all of the “what if’s and what if nots”

And then I rose.

“Alright. You win”

I whispered and opened the van door, admitting defeat only ten minutes later.

I hollered to my other children who were running and playing and laughing –

“Sorry kids, Luke’s done. Time to go home. We’ll try again tomorrow.”

This is exhaustion.

This is despair.

This is anxiety.

This is isolation for special needs families.

10 minutes x 24 hours x every day with no end in sight.

And –

Tomorrow we rise again and face a new day, and we hope for a better outcome. We hope our children get to play for more than 10 minutes, and we hope for answers and maybe one tiny win.

We just keep livin’.

The poem in its entirety can be found pinned to the top of my Facebook Page.

To learn more about our story, check out my three books!


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When Life Feels Tomblike








I was so disappointed to not make it to our church’s Easter service yesterday.

We bought the pretty clothes

And the shoes

And gave haircuts

And made Easter lunch plans at Grandma’s house

And all bathed the night before

And then we arrived home from vacation to find a very sick Luke, and my heart sank.

We haven’t worshipped at church in a few weeks because when you have a bunch of kids, it seems like they’re always bringing home some new germ.

And because it seems like “special needs” always manages to exclude us somehow and have the final say.

And if I’m being honest, because I still had the sniffles as well.

I felt starved for my church community & my faith felt parched for a fresh anointing & I just KNEW that our Easter service was what my weary soul needed.

And as I was sulking because we would miss church yet again, I heard a still small voice whisper –


I am here in the disappointment.

I am here in your holy obedience.

I am here in the special needs.

I am here in the midst of germs.

I am here in the messy mundane.

I am here in your ministry of motherhood.

These offerings of care and mothering and laying down your desires are evidence of my broken body and shed blood  & because you reside in the broken spaces with me, you will also reign in heavenly spaces beside me.

Oh mama, the resurrection always arrives after faithful obedience.

Special needs might feel tomblike when we isolate at home, exhausted, and managing all the things behind closed doors.

Motherhood might feel tomblike as we humbly obey and serve those who can not care for themselves.

Life might feel tomblike as we await a resurrection.

But stay faithful…

Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence, the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me!

Or on me or on you because –


Hallelujah & Amen!

Just keep livin.

If you enjoyed this and want to read more, check out my books, Sunlight Burning at MidnightBlended with Grit & Grace, and  Lovin with Grit & Grace.


You Did The Best You Could

“Hey, come here a minute,” I motioned to my 19-year-old son, Caleb. “I have a question for you.”


He reluctantly shuffled to the couch where I was sitting and sat on the other end.
It had been an emotional couple of months after his graduation from high school, and now, preparing to go to college as we, his family, prepared for a move back to my home state where we would receive more resources and support for our disabled son, Lucas, Caleb’s brother.

I looked at my son, sitting across from me, and thought it seemed like only years ago I was rocking him to sleep as a baby boy, and now here he was, a grown man.

“I was just wondering, now that you’ve graduated and are about to go to college, what did you think about your childhood?”

My insecurities as a mother were in full bloom with the question I had just posed.

“What do you mean?” he warily asked.

I continued, “Did you feel like you had a good childhood? With everything that occurred in your life? You know, anything you would change?”

His life flashed before my eyes as I spoke these words.

My baby boy, born in 2002, a hard birth without drugs, and two years later his brother Lucas arrived; his brother who had a stroke in utero and would have profound disabilities that would rob Caleb of so much of his mother as she dealt with Lucas’s never-ending needs.

My boy, at 6 years old, feeding his father when he no longer had the energy, and lifting his father back into bed after he fell as cancer ravaged his brain.

My boy, months later, while saying goodnight, found his father had quietly passed from this life to the next.

My boy, who would shortly thereafter be adopted by a new father and welcome three new siblings into his life and share his bedroom for the first time in his life.

My boy, who would move numerous times as we chased resources for his brother with special needs.

My boy, who was excited by the birth of his baby sister, our eighth child, in 2015.

My boy, now sitting beside me as the silence grew thick as he contemplated his answer.

“My childhood was good. I wouldn’t change a thing because I know you did the best you could.”

My boy, full of grace, my wonderful son who, in spite of everything life had thrown at him, focused on the blessings rather than the injustice of the hand he had been dealt. My boy, my son, I’m so incredibly proud to be your mom.

If you enjoyed this and want to read more, check out my books, Sunlight Burning at MidnightBlended with Grit & Grace, and  Lovin with Grit & Grace