Who’s That Girl?

There is a picture we have on a shelf in the living room of us when we were dating.  We were boating with Jamin’s parents in Clear Lake. There’s also a picture of us from the day we got married. I love those pictures.

I’m almost done with this huge project of scanning in old photos from my childhood (it’s only taken me about 2 years!!). I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and will likely reach it this weekend or early next week. It’s been fun and strange all at once, looking at those old pictures – looking at who I was and who my siblings were.

I look at pictures from when I was very young with my grandpa. I can see the gradual progression of his cancer. He looked really sick towards the end.

I look at pictures of me and my siblings when it was just 5 of us – before our youngest sisters were born. We had no idea how limited our time with Krissy would be; everything was just our normal life. I see pictures of 8 year old me and try to remember my life before EVERYTHING changed, but sometimes I see those images and think, “Who is that little girl?” I know it’s me, but it seems like a lifetime ago.

Then I see pictures of us growing up. Dee and Becky were born, and we all went through awkward phases. I see pictures of 16 year old me and ask myself the same question.

“Who is that girl?

That girl who’s experienced so little and so much all at once. A lot of healing took place in the 8 years since Krissy died, but that girl who was so changed when Kris died is about to change all over again. She will have to relearn how to navigate a whole new world very soon. It’ll hurt, and it’ll be hard, but she’ll do it.”

I look at that picture of me and Jamin on that boat, and I remember how happy we were. I loved spending time with him when we were dating – I still do! Our relationship was so young and lacking any real hardship.

Then I look over to the picture from our wedding day. What an amazing day that was! We both had ideas about what marriage would be based on our parents or based on things we’d seen or been told. I don’t think either one of us could have anticipated what our first few years would look like. I certainly never would have predicted the losses we would endure, but I also never would have expected to grow as much as we have so quickly.

I look at any picture that was taken before a life changing event in my life, and I have such a hard time remembering the girl in the photo. Sometimes I wonder if I have changed so much that she’s not even here anymore…that maybe I’m someone else completely now. It’s all happened so quickly.

I used to be a little girl whose legs had never been swiped out from under her – who had never felt the sharp pains of grief in her body. It’s so strange how life changes us. I can never be that girl again, but what I can be, what I have become, is more whole than I have ever been because God is in the business of restoring, and He has done just that.



Dear Childless Mama

Dear Childless Mama,

You know who you are. Whether you are like me and your child was taken from your arms by that nasty thing called death or miscarriage robbed you of that baby in your arms, or that adoption you so eagerly awaited fell through, or infertility has, it seems, built walls around you, so you can’t conceive, or you are still single and wondering if you’ll ever get to build a family with someone – you know who you are, and when I say, “Dear Childless Mama,” you know I’m talking to you. Even if you’ll only call yourself a mom in the depths of your being because the world might not recognize it in you. You know. So hear my words: Continue reading “Dear Childless Mama”


I listened to Oceans for the first time in a while a couple days ago. Every time I hear it I think back to when it first came out towards the end of 2013. I loved it immediately. The bridge goes like this: Continue reading “Oceans”

He is Still Good Three Years Later

Gosh, it is so hard to wrap my head around this day, and I’m sure it will be just as hard in 15 years and in 40 years.

Today, Leeland would have been 3 years old. I still remember a lot from that day. I remember 3 years ago, close to this time, we were returning home from the University of Iowa Hospital with one less person than we had left with. Continue reading “He is Still Good Three Years Later”

Too Long

Tonight we hosted our Christmas party for our small group. It was a good night.

This day always seems to sneak up on me as I anticipate Christmas every year. In the middle of this joy-filled season comes a day that brought so much grief so many years ago. This year marks 17 years since my oldest sister, Kristen, died. It’s so hard for my mind to wrap around that number. Seventeen years means that she’s been gone longer than she was here. Continue reading “Too Long”

Chasing Answers

The last three years have taken me and my husband on quite a journey. From a positive pregnancy test to an abnormal ultrasound to holding our sweet boy who never took a breath on earth to burying him, grieving his loss, and having to rediscover who we were only to find out that my body was somehow damaged along the way. The last three years have stretched us in ways we didn’t know we could handle, but our faithful God knew we could, and He was with us all the way.

Tomorrow we take the next step in finding out what is happening with my body. Continue reading “Chasing Answers”