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new mercies after loss

new mercies after loss

This month, we would have welcomed a new baby into our family.

Ever since I took my first positive pregnancy test with Everly, miscarriage had become one of my greatest fears. This past July we had one.

It was a heartbreaking, painful loss followed by a confusing four months of weekly blood tests and frequent ultrasounds. I’ve wrestled with whether or not to journal about this experience in this space. Since I trust that God is the redeemer of painful circumstances I decided it was worth writing down in hopes that others might be encouraged too.

I’m still processing it – and probably always will this side of Heaven –  but God has brought his surpassing peace through the following realizations:

1. My baby lived and is now living in Heaven. 

Immediately following the loss, I felt foolish for feeling grief. After all, we didn’t even get to hear the heartbeat. Was it really a baby yet? These feelings were reinforced by the well-meaning comments I received: “This pregnancy was a practice round”, “The timing just wasn’t right”, and “You were only how many weeks along?” Finally, I went to God’s word for comfort. I searched for any scriptures that spoke about the unborn. There was Psalm 139:15-16:

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret…Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

The best comfort came when I read Luke chapter one and realized that Jesus was Lord in the womb. When the angel Gabriel met with Mary he didn’t tell her that she would carry the savior only after she reached twelve weeks, or at the first moment she felt the baby kick. He told her that the moment the Holy Spirit came upon her she would conceive the Savior. The Lord’s presence was so fully abiding in Mary’s womb that when she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s unborn baby leapt in her womb and Elizabeth prophesied!

Clinging to these truths helped me to move past the awkward guilt of grief and realize that grieving the loss of life was actually a form worship. In acknowledging that my baby lived, I honor God as the creator and sustainer of life.

I have complete confidence that my baby is currently worshiping God in his presence, and I can’t wait for the day when I get to join them!

2. Even miscarriage can be an expression of God’s goodness.

God is still good. God is still good. God is still good. I must have chanted this phrase a hundred times following the miscarriage. It might sound trite, naive, or even overly optimistic, but the truth is that I TRULY, 100% believe it to be true.

The same God who didn’t even spare his own Son – but sacrificed him on my behalf – lovingly ordained my loss. He wasn’t caught off guard by it. He wasn’t too weak to stop it. Because He is completely good and completely loving, I can trust (although I confess I don’t fully understand) that losing our unborn baby was what was best for both of us.

Hard truth to swallow? Definitely. But it points me heavenward. If it was good and best to take my baby to heaven before they could take their first breath on earth, then heaven and being in the Lord’s presence must be immeasurably better than I currently ascribe it worth!

This truth has HUGE implications for my life now: how can I live in fear of what will happen to me, Everly, Mike, or our future children when I know that the best lies beyond? How will we as a family live knowing that what we do now only matters eternally if we’re living in light of it?

3. I can truly rejoice in my weaknesses. 

I believe no experience is wasted – God redeems it all – so naturally, I immediately began looking for ways to make meaning of this loss. I saw how tightly I clung to my ideal family. Since we were engaged Mike and I would confidently tell people that we wanted four kids, born back-to-back. Silly as it sounds (I mean, did I really think I could control that?) I was devastated that this miscarriage frustrated our plan.

Good, I thought. I found the lesson God wanted me to learn. Surely now that I confessed it we can move on and I won’t be such a control freak anymore. But feelings of frustration, disappointment, and bitterness kept creeping back in over, and over, and over again.

I sought reassurance from friends and family. While they encouraged the best they could, none of them were able to give me answers or heal me of my depressing thoughts. I’d take my feelings to God in prayer, but I’d still end up tripping over my feelings again days, hours, even minutes later!

A perfectionist by nature, I found these “failings” really defeating. Words from my sister brought 2 Corinthians 12:9 to mind:

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

I am too weak to process my grief and disappointment. No amount of time or encouragement from loved ones will remedy my weakness. But those unmet desires and pains drive me to the Lord. He is the only one who can satisfy and isn’t bothered by my relentless need of him. In those moments when I trade striving and self-berating for surrender and trust, I experience His strength.

I don’t know what the Lord has in store for our family. We still hope to welcome more children into it, but ultimately, our trust is in Christ alone. If God did not spare his own Son but gave him up for me, he will certainly also graciously give me all that I need today (Romans 8:32). So I’ll stand in that promise for now and I’ll rejoice in what he abundantly gives each moment I’m living.

new mercies after loss




sunrise on haleakala

The sun began it’s daily ascent as I jumped into my car this morning. My heart was heavy with the burden I’d been carrying for the last several weeks. I started to cry. In an effort to distract myself I focused on the sunrise. Immediately my mind was drawn back to the sunrise I watched in Maui on Haleakala just a few weeks ago…

sunrise on haleakala

The summit of the dormant volcano was PACKED. Hundreds of spectators crowded the outlook paths. It was a standing-room-only situation. We arrived in the dark and stumbled our way to the viewpoint. Everyone pressed as close as they could get to the railing – the only thing keeping us from plummeting into the crater below.

We waited in silent expectation.

Not a single person waiting there doubted that the sun would indeed rise.

Dawn was a certainty – and it did not disappoint!

sunrise on haleakala

The memory of this glorious sunrise brought my mind and anxious heart to rest on Hosea 6:3:

Let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is as sure as the dawn.

What if I waited for God as expectantly as I waited for the sunrise in Haleakala? Do I really believe that he is willing and able to act on my behalf? To meet me in my grief, to light my path with wisdom, and to fulfill my desires for his presence?

YESSS! His word promises me of his faithfulness. He has proven himself over and over in my life. So I will press on and press in. 

sunrise on haleakala

I can’t help but think about how many equally incredible sunrises are missed around the world every day. God doesn’t display his splendor solely for our entertainment. If the tourists don’t show up on Haleakala one day, the majestic sunrise will still be there. Creation itself can’t help but proclaim his glory!

“So if everything exists to lift him high, so will I.” (Hillsong United)

No matter my season – whether it be of grief, doubt, wandering, or fear – I can trust that Dawn is coming. So I’ll wait on Him expectantly and praise him for the beautiful sunrise he’ll create out of the sorrow.

sunrise on haleakala


r.i.p. to my forever home

I was 9 months pregnant and feeling every sweaty step as I approached the front door. When I woke up that morning, I had no idea that an effort to humor my husband in checking out an open house “for fun” would result in us finding it: our forever home!

I fell in love with the house before the home tour was over. It was a fixer upper with good bones, lots of dreamy natural light – and to put icing on the cake – it was a huge bargain in our dream neighborhood! We’d always known that our next house would potentially be our forever home, but we never dreamed we’d find it so soon!

We immediately put an offer on the house, closed on it the day after I gave birth, and moved in two-weeks postpartum. The plan was to begin renovations weeks after moving in, but those weeks turned into months. I grew impatient.

I’d be nursing with nothing better to do than stare at the walls. That’s when the discontent would start to sneak in. I’d criticize and complain over every imperfection of the home. I made an inventory list of every little change I wanted to make – nothing was negotiable. It’d just have to fit into the budget.

When the renovation-monster began rearing it’s ugly head on my family, I realized that I needed to do a heart check. I asked myself:

What if I got everything I wanted?

What if my Pinterest board dreams were executed to a T and my home became the envy of Instagram?

Would that make my family happier? Healthier?

Would I be a better wife/mom/homemaker?

Would my “forever home” satisfy me forever?

Would I somehow be closer with God?

The answer to that last question was an obvious and resounding “NO.” In fact my obsession with  my earthly dwelling was actually driving me from the presence of my Savior.

God’s Word is full of wisdom and exhortation against trusting in wealth and possessions, but the verse that speaks to my heart is actually from a passage about worry:

Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Luke 12:32

All the temporary things in the world can’t satisfy me like the one person I can never lose – Christ!  His kingdom – his presence, his power, his work – are the only things that matter! One day we might move or lose our house to an unfortunate circumstance. But my eternal home is unshakeable.

When my priorities are properly in submission to Christ, I’m set free from the influence of the renovation-monster. A heavenly perspective also helps me to realize that it’s ok to be excited about the remodel. If used correctly, our home can be an effective tool in kingdom work.

I love this quote from Gloria Furman’s book, Missional Motherhood:

“We leverage our homes for gospel work. For those whose hope is in the coming kingdom, our homes are less like treats and more like a network of foxholes for planning and hosting kingdom advances into this present darkness. Our homes are centers of hospitality to show strangers and neighbors the light of Christ. And they are equipping centers for traveling ambassadors to help them on their way to doing the King’s business”.

When my heart and hopes are set on Christ, I count my material blessings for what they are – gifts given for accomplishing kingdom purposes. And in that proper light I can enjoy my home to the fullest – it won’t own me.

I look forward to raising our family within these walls. I can see gospel-conversations around the kitchen table, teaching our kids to read from their bibles, hosting studies, and helping to mend broken hearts with true comfort from the seats of our comfy couch.

I still have high hopes that we’ll live in this house for many years. But the term “forever home” is hilariously relative in light of eternity.

So I’m officially retiring the phrase until I reach my true Forever Home.











roots and wings: a name change + a new direction

roots + wings

If this isn’t your first time on the blog today, you might notice some changes around here.

Roots and Wings – what’s that?

Recently I’ve been doing lots of praying and heart searching with regards to this online platform. Why do I blog? Who do I blog for?

I started blogging before I understood it was “a thing”. I showed up late to the blogging party and was completely clueless to how popular it had become. My love for writing, desire to explore something creative, and share my husband and I’s travels launched me on a journey I never would have imagined myself on.

About six months in, I began hearing the phrases “influencer” and “life style blog” for the first time. Suddenly, I felt this internal pressure to be the influential lifestyle blogger – an expert in all things: makeup, style, homemaking, travel, photography, brand marketing, and child-rearing! And since I am an expert in NONE of those things, I clammed up and stopped writing altogether.

While there’s nothing wrong with any of those interests or blogs (I’m a frequent consumer of them) the Lord faithfully showed me the reason those topics felt forced.

Those topics are not my passion. I could never write about them in my authentic voice. And in a culture in which we are constantly tempted to define ourselves by what we do and own, I felt all the more convicted that my writing was moving far from the mark of pleasing my Maker.

I’ve come to realize that the “realest” writing I can produce won’t come from the perspective of an expert, but from the very opposite: a humble mom claiming all dependency on her mighty Savior.

So now (for as long as I am led) this blog will serve as a journal of sorts. The name Roots and Wings is a phrase that actually came out of my old-fashioned paper-bound journal! While pregnant with my daughter Everly, I wrote a prayer asking that the Lord would give her both roots and wings.

Roots: I prayed Ephesians 3:17 over her, that Christ would dwell in her heart through faith and that she would be rooted and grounded in love and come to comprehend the length, width, height and depth of God’s love for her.

Wings: I prayed that she would live untethered to this world, living instead at the pleasure of the King and his heavenly kingdom. It’s my hope and prayer that she will fly free and exercise God’s unique gifts of grace wherever He may lead her (even if that’s one day away from mom)!

This blog is a space where I can share my own practice of roots and wings. I’ll never be an expert, but I hope that in sharing my journey in grace I can point people to the Only One. Because he is completely worthy of all of the praise!





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