a quick jaunt west


Afternoon mom-life lattes made by Cherry / hours of imaginative playtime / wikihow “how to draw” sessions / baby holding / seeing how dry it is & one of the areas that burned / sibling time / fishing mishaps / movie night / so much driving / SO MUCH / worth it. 20170325_15302017426194_10212674859205863_8888823161795748064_n20170325_203720


in the Netherlands

Walking. Praying. Admiring the flowers and bicycles. 20160708_13191320160708_132935
Trying to “take more pictures and not look weird.” It was a good goal..20160708_13595120160708_13504820160719_211326
I remember being very exhausted and enjoying the quiet. Val, Han and I ate some truly amazing burgers then loitered in this spot watching the sunset. 20160719_21312420160719_213217
Morning? Or night? It was hard to be sure at some points!20160720_051005


I’m spending this 4th of July thankful for my country, and preparing to leave it for a few weeks. 🙂

As I get ready to go to Italy some things seem really vital to me, and others don’t. I spent way too much time searching for my teal duct tape. And too little time on other, more important things. I have had plentiful amounts of rest, though. Soaked up all the quiet times when I was out at camp last month knowing my soul would need it in July. 20160604_201448 I’m so glad two of my best friends are going with me. We toss around the phrase “adventure of a lifetime” to refer to us going on this trip, and it’s honestly true. I can’t think too much about the way God arranged for us three to be doing this together because it is too great and mysterious for me to comprehend and I get all teared up.

Speaking of tearing up- yes, my emotions and empathy are running high. Earlier this week I said goodbye to one of my favorite clients ever, she’s moving far away. After 4 years of serving her and being friends, it crushed my heart to see her go. So, there’s that, as well as the usual life things that come up, and the courage it takes to step out in faith on a trip like this. Not to mention thinking of the refugees I will meet, the stories I will hear and all that I will experience. It’s a lot, and I don’t know what to expect.20160605_200512 This doesn’t feel like something that just plunked into my life. It is something that I’ve been growing toward for years. I have this sense that it’s all on the table. All the tiny decisions made years ago are playing their part even now.

Expansive Miracle

small town

Two weeks ago I was back in my old town, where I lived between the ages of 8 and 15. I had some time to kill so I drove around my old stomping grounds. “Biking grounds” might be more accurate! I laughed really hard when I saw the hill we used to race down. Really it is barely an incline. Being on those streets amazed me, I remembered all our neighbors. The people I would dog-sit for and the houses where I would go to babysit. Where I would play with my brothers and friends. The empty lot. The park. The pool.

I thought I would always be a small town person.

20160609_141310Two days ago I was caregiving and the lady I work for needed to go into the bank. I pushed her wheelchair through the main doors. The sister of one of my very good friends was smiling and holding the door for us. She is one of the head people at this bank. We chatted and she helped my client with her banking business, all in a friendly, personal way.

I do live in a city now but I love it best when it acts like a small town.

Yesterday I met up with a lady from my church. Her daughter is spending the summer in Italy, where we have a church plant. We are sending teams of people all summer to serve refugees. This lady wanted to get a few things to her daughter, and I was the go-between. I brought them to the airport this morning when I went to send off and pray for some of my friends who left today. “I can’t believe I can hand this to you in a Hy-Vee parking lot, and it will be in my daughter’s hands in Italy in a few days,” she said.

In a few weeks, I’ll be back at the airport, this time with my passport, ready to leave for Italy myself! I don’t know what to expect. But I want to see with my own eyes. So I don’t feel like the refugee crisis is something happening far away, in other towns and cities, that doesn’t matter to me. I can’t bring it closer but I can go there. I can’t turn the whole world into a small town but I still might try. 🙂

july is


watching the sun slowly set.

staring at as much of the night sky as your eyes can manage, watching for the next shooting star.

a pheasant walking through the sprinkler in the yard.


dusty, golden, busy wheat harvest.

saying hello, saying goodbye.

sticky nights when the house is still hot.

mosquito bites.

reading & resting.


praying and saying the pledge right here many a morning.

driving in the car for hours.

prayers before lights out.


sitting on the front steps watching the empty street, maybe picking your nose a little if you’re a baby.

hamburgers made by Dad using Skold beef. 🙂

games of cards, mission impossible, counselor hunt, capture the flag, carpet ball, & Kubb. (No I did not know what that last one was either until this summer.)

going on walks with old friends.