Wednesday, September 12, 2012


In my early & mid 20's I did some amazing things & went to some amazing places with some amazing people.

Famous? Not hardly.

But I was known in a certain circle of people because I sang back up for a couple of legendary gospel artists.

While traveling and learning, I often found myself in a position to talk to other young ladies who were pursuing either a career in music or simply found themselves drawn to a celebrity lifestyle. I'll be the first to admit; I didn't know it all. I was thrust into the music industry and expected to act as a veteran, while in actuality I was a star struck novice. I couldn't believe I'd been chosen to sing with artists that I'd admired from afar; some even as early on as a child. This swift pace of change helped me to adapt to various environments, learn about the industry, and also grow within my own creativity and gifts.

If I'm honest I don't remember exactly how Keisha and I met. But I do remember that she was like a square peg trying to fit into a circle hole. She just didn't fit. I could tell she was searching for her niche , all the while allowing certain perceptions and opinions to create a little box for her.

I don't know why she looked up to me and chose me as a role model. I was pretty insecure myself and sporadically trying to swim through my own ocean of issues. But...we clicked. I didn't mind sharing advice with Keisha because she didn't expect me to be perfect. She just wanted honesty and a place to feel safe to share her wonderings.

On Sunday I watched Keisha and her husband host their son's 1st birthday party. I watched and marveled at how's she grown into this varied, intentional, contagious person. She's grown in her gifts...but more importantly she's grown into herself.

She's got spunk. She says what she means & means what she says. She loves hard. She's unapologetically herself...& I couldn't be more proud.

If a mentor is a TRUE mentor....they hope that those who learn from them will be greater than them.

Ms. Keisha is on her to becoming a light in this world that leads many to the untainted love of God.

She is indeed his chosen...His Ideeyah...and my little sister.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend Randoms

Today marks my triumphant return to blogging!

*insert balloons, a marching band....and um...popcorn...YES! What's a celebration without popcorn?*

I am most thrilled that this return falls on a Monday which makes it perfectly reasonable for me to talk about the random things I realized over the weekend.

Random 1 :

I LOVE an 8:30 service on Sundays! Our 6yo had to sing during communion service at the Lutheran church that hosts his school. Now don't get me wrong: when the alarm went off at 7 & I attempted to cheerfully wake up my family, I failed. They all woke up in a funk.

But by 9:40 we were walking out of church holding hands (yes! Even the kiddos) , by 10 we were eating pancakes & omelets,  at 11 we were thumbing through books at Barnes & Noble and by 12:30 my kiddos were down for a nap.

It was perfect!

Now only if our home church had a service this early!

Random 2 :

I hate pumpkin flavoring.

Which brings me to my next point.....

Random 3 :

I am addicted to pumpkin spice lattes. No, really. I've had one every day since Friday & this addiction seems to have turned from ironically funny to stronghold in a matter of days. Besides the fact that I have no idea how I could possibly like pumpkin spice must be said...they are the bomb.

Random 4 :

We haven't had cable in 9 months. I've been okay with this (for the most part) since I only work about 15 hrs a week & don't travel for ministry as much as I used to. Since Mr. B is bringing hoe 80% of the bacon, I had to be willing to accept his budget projections. HOWEVER, Katie Couric is coming out with a new talk show today. Oh em geezy!!! I just think Katie Couric is right up there with Oprah when it comes to her ability to interview others with an objective style that pushes the envelope without losing compassion. What I wouldn't give for a 1 channel cable package today!

Random 5 :

Last week was hard in our house. Mr B's job had a payroll hiccup that effected him as well as 5 or 6 other employees. He was paid for only 3 days instead of 2 weeks. Talk about Jehovah Jireh!!! I have no idea how we were able to get groceries, gas, register our 3yo for preschool & have a little left over for me to treat the kiddos to a book each & toys (dollar store woot, woot!) It was all GOD!
This morning when I began to get anxious about obligations for the week until Friday, the Holy Spirit reminded me how we didn't miss a beat last week, and God will do the same for us this week.

Oh for grace to trust Him more!

So friends....tell was your weekend?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Acquainted With Grief

I wish I could forget.
I wish the memories were faded and dull.
But just as I remember in detail the birth process of each of my living children; I remember each heartbreaking moment of the process of losing our son.

I remember the t-shirt I wore the day before that read "Let the SON shine in."
I wore it proudly to a meeting at work where my boss & co-workers gawked & teased at my perfectly round belly beginning to poke out.
I remember the sound of the tv in the living room that evening as I put noodles on the stove and begin seasoning meat & sauce for spaghetti.
I remember the odd sensation that ran over my stomach; leaving me breathless for a moment.
Grabbing the counter; a fleeting thought crossed my mind....

"What if something is wrong with the baby?"

I quickly busied myself with dinner again. I was 13.5 weeks & had already began to feel those precious "butterflies" in my tummy that only a growing baby can make you feel.

I remember the sound of the day passing as I laid down early for bed.
I slept with my hands covering my small belly.
"Jesus, please"....I whispered over & over.

I remember the cramping that woke me in the morning.
The red blood that stained a perfect, small circle in my pajamas.

I remember the text I sent to my closest friends....
"Woke up spotting. On our way to the doctor. Please pray for our baby. "

I remember the classical music playing on the radio.
I remember his hand grabbing mine..."The baby is fine sweetie. It's going to be alright.
And I wanted to believe him.

I remember the ultrasound.
The cold gel splattered without pattern on my belly.
I remember the silence.

I remember the waiting room....filled with happy mothers to be.
A little girl played with my son in the corner of the room.
Her mother smiled at me. She rubbed her belly. I rubbed mine.

I remember when my name was called.

I remember the words that came out of my Dr's mouth.

"We couldn't find a heart beat."

I remember almost laughing at the audacity of this statement.
We had just marveled at the strong heartbeat just a week & a 1/2 before.

I remember weeping in a way I'd never wept before.
The sound was haunting; scaring even me.
I remember the disbelief in my husband's eyes & the way he gripped me in his arms as if to keep from falling.

I remember the formality of the remaining moments.
Paperwork. Scheduled surgery. Instructions.
It was all so matter of fact.

I remember trying to grasp the vast thought of carrying a deceased baby in my womb for 3 more days until surgery.

I remember the way I crawled into bed once we got home.
I remember the way the sun was shining through my bedroom blinds....and the sound of chirping spring birds outside my window.
I remember when the spotting turned to bleeding.
I remember when the uneasiness turned to cramping.
I remember when the labor interrupted the grief....

and suddenly I realized that I was about to deliver this baby.

I remember the pain....the same pain that had once brought me a blue eyed, healthy baby boy.
I remember the pain that put me on all fours in my very own bed.
I remember the pain that pushed me to the floor, and jolted me to my feet.

And then.........


I felt my baby let go....
And as I ran into the bathroom....

I felt my baby leave me...and fall into my hands.

There are no words to suffice the sight of a forming baby...laying lifeless in your hands.

I remember the grief that washed over me.
I remember the tears, the hurt, the disbelief, the anger, the awe, and the inconceivable notion that in the middle of my deepest pain....I was nearest to God.

I felt him in my anxiety.
I felt him in the loss of my peace.
I felt him in the strain to recover.
I felt him in the night.
I felt him in the nightmares.
I felt him in the sadness.
I felt him in the hope.

He was nearest....when my heart was broken.

I felt Him in my dream when I saw our son running in a meadow of green....
His curls bouncing wildly....
Our son turned to look at me.
And I saw Jesus in His deep, almond eyes.
I saw Jesus in His bronze colored skin.
I heard Jesus in his voice...."Bye, Mommy".

I felt Him....
He was all I wanted
He was all I needed.
He was all.

4 years ago I lost my son Christian.
And 4 years ago I was acquainted with grief.
4 years ago I knew Jesus in a way I'd never known before.

Today I grieve because I lost.
Today I hope because He's near.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Sara Bareilles plays in the background.

A pile of laundry lies at the foot of my bed.

Books are strewn carelessly across my comforter.

One child is laughing, the other is whining.

There are phone calls & emails to be returned.

There are job inquiries to be made, taxes to be filed, and thank you letters to be mailed.

There are unsung melodies floating my head,

words waiting to be strung into lyrics,

album concepts and ideas laying lifeless for lack of money to keep them alive.

What's next?

Go back to school for music theory?

Send our 6yo to public school ?

Stay in Michigan? Move to Nashville?

Have another baby?

There are so many choices to be made...

so many things to be done....

and all I can do it sit here and breathe...and whisper a prayer.

I'm stuck.

Between the waiting,

between my dreams,

between my prayers prayed and answered...

I'm stuck.

Ever been there?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Intentional Love

I've been thinking a lot about love lately.

Marriage is a day to day parade of all sorts of emotions.

Mood swings, bills, unresolved disagreements ....

It can all lead to one moment when something small turns into something and BOOM

Words are said

Feelings are hurt

Wounds are re opened.

And every day a decision must be made

To love.

Just like marriage; parenting comes with an array of emotions.

I love my children with a love I never knew I was capable of. It is innate desire to protect them from all harm, to raise them to be loving, kind, honest individuals. It would be my hearts greatest thrill to see them grow up to be successful in every single thing they attempt to accomplish.

But the truth is...I can't protect them from everything.

I can't raise them to be perfect particularly when I am not perfect myself.

My 6yo is so easy to love...

With his blue eyes, infectious laugh, and willingness to help, I can't help but hold him dear.

But he's stubborn. He talks back. And he often hurts my heart deeply with his often blatant comments said with no intention to hurt me, but hurting me nonetheless .

"Why is daddy more fun?"

"I didn't like my dinner"

"I don't want you to play with me"

These words have hurt me to my core.

I want to put him in his room & make him stay there until he knows how much I sacrifice to be home with him most of the time. I want him to understand the singing career I gave up to be his mom....the shopping sprees & vacations I don't have so that he can have what he needs. I want him to taste the salty tears I cry when I have to discipline him becaus he's been dishonest or disrespectful.

And then I see myself in him.

I see the leader struggling to balance when to speak & when to stay quiet.
I see the sensitive side that hurts & withdraws when corrected.
I see the inquisitive dreamer that would rather daydream & create than clean a room or practice reading.

I see the child that longs to please her Father, but often just doesn't get it right.
The child who knows she's said, done or thought she doesn't pray not to offend a Holy God. One day of prayerlessness turns into 2 days...2 days into a week, and so on.
I see the child who needs to be corrected, but also needs grace.

I see myself.

And I'm learning...

Learning to love my boy through it all.
The back talking, the stubbornness, the dishonesty....
Because Jesus loves me through it all. He corrects me...and He loves me.
Today I wrote my son a love note & stuck it in Hus lunch box.

Mommy loves you....

And today he ran to me after school & kissed me without my asking.
He hung his coat up on a hanger instead of throwing it on the floor.
He didn't pout when I said he couldn't have cookies before dinner.

I showed him today that I love him through it all...

Just like God loves us both....

Through it ALL.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Great Pretenders

The last 9 days I've been on an emotional roller coaster. I celebrated a new season in the life of a "little sister" in ministry. I told a lie and quickly told the truth and apologized. I laughed hysterically on the phone with my sister. I vented frustrations on the phone with that same sister. I celebrated the joy of my 6 year old reading a book out loud by himself for the first time. I listened to an old, dear friend tell me how I'd hurt her without even realizing it. 
In the last 9 days I've smiled, I've rejoiced, I've been rejected and appreciated in the same day. 
I've hurt and I've been healed. 
I've asked for forgiveness and I've forgiven. 

But the truth is, I've done all of this out loud. 
I haven't hidden in a closet and sobbed quiet tears. 
I did so loudly while lying on my bed. 
I didn't disagree sweetly with my best friend. 
I did so loudly; sitting in the car in my driveway infuriated that she had held on to such a hurt for so many years. Angry with myself for not realizing she was hurt all along. 
I didn't chuckle to myself when my sister & I shared silly banter. 
I threw my head back and laughed until my stomach cramped.
I missed my husband terribly this week, while our schedules kept us passing each other with only a peck here, reminders there, and backs turned, but touching at night. 
I didn't whisper I miss you...I sent a text, I lingered when we kissed, I cooked when I was he would know. 

I am not good at pretending. 

This thought arrested me moments ago when I was reading book #2 in the Hunger Game series. 
This thought arrested me months ago when I sat in the theater watching "Country Strong"...weeping long after the credits scrolled to an end & the screen faded black. 
Stories; although vastly different, filled with lead characters in the limelight haunted by their secret fears & worries, coached to smile, speak, & carry themselves as though all is perfect. 

I am not good at pretending. 

But SO many (leaders, artists, speakers, pastors, ministers, celebrities) are. "We" build them up because of a talent , then expect them to measure of to our varied expectations in their personalities as well. 
"We" leave no room for flaws. 
"We" leave no room for lessons unlearned. 
"We" leave no room for weaknesses. 

Imagine meeting your favorite singer in a quiet coffee shop. 
Your thrilled to meet him/her. 
You ask for a photo. 
He/She declines. 
Your entire perception of them changes. 
You couldn't know that they've just had a terrible fight with their spouse & said things they wish they could take back. 
You couldn't know that the following day they're scheduled to speak to hundreds of couples at a marriage retreat. 
You couldn't know that he/she has been struggling with low self-esteem & hates to see themselves in pictures because of the 10 pounds they've put on. 
You couldn't know that this is the first time in years they haven't been on the road at least twice a week...Bills are overdue, assistants and nannies need to be paid, and clothes to continue looking the part must be purchased. 
You couldn't know....

My heart went out this morning to those in the light whom we expect to always have the right answer simply because they had the right answer before. 
Those who shine on stage, and cry themselves to sleep in the dark. 
My heart broke for those with the ability to preach or sing us to our feet, but the inability to hear the still, small voice who called them to begin with. 

It may make me vulnerable. It may set me up for wounds unexpected.
But I cannot pretend...and I pray for all those who only know how to live...pretending. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Not Another Blog!!!

This is not my first blog.'s my 4th or 5th. Yikes.

I start writing on various topics and somewhere along the happens. 

Changing diapers. Playing cars with my son. Date nights with my husband. Girl time. Laundry.


But this year I've decided (and felt urged) to start a new blog . This blog differs from the others.
This blog is a journey....the stories of my life become words. And those words meet music. That music brings my story to life. 

Over the next 6-9 months I will be in the studio recording an album. 
Inspiration. Worship. Acoustic. Contemporary. Gospel. Prophetic. Everyday Living. 
An album birthed out of some of the darkest times of my life that God somehow used to reveal Himself to me in a deeper way. 

It is my heart's desire to share this journey with you. 

Perhaps you can relate to knowing you're called for a great purpose, but never feeing as though you belong or fit in. 

Maybe you've struggled with insecurities and intimidation like I have. 

You may even know the pain of deep loss of a child, bond, job or even greater...the loss of your faith in God. 

I pray that as you read the coming posts you are encouraged, challenged, strengthened & inspired. 

I look forward to sharing with you....