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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

There is still beauty.

It's quiet at the moment. 

Easton is taking a nap, Cale is upstairs looking at pictures on his phone, Mama is at the hospital for her surgery today and Nora is having her rest time. I'm sitting here with a warm cup of coffee. It's gloomy outside.

My mind doesn't know where to start. If I allow my emotions to lead, I will be all over the place. This is true not only for this post, but with every day life as well. 

Life is hard. 

There's this tug within my heart every single day. I choose joy. I choose love. I choose peace. 

I choose to be thankful.

Not because I'm a hippie either. Ha.

Jesus offers these things. 
I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me and he's not just taking up space.

He makes it possible for me to walk through my days not focused on myself and my flesh, rather able to choose living a life that would be impossible otherwise. 

I understand this life is full of pain and hurt- I get this. There is no way to really explain certain things that happen and the loss that comes along with it. If you are someone who believes that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and you've chosen to surrender your life and live for his glory, you may have a quick few verses you throw out when something horrible happens. You know the answers and you know the truth. 

If you are someone who doesn't believe in Christ and that the Bible is 100% true from cover to cover, you may think it's just life. Bad stuff happens and you move on. 

Maybe you've been hurt by the church? Maybe someone who claimed to be a christian wasn't so Christ-like? You might be angry and even blame God. 

Maybe you think there's a higher power but you don't really want to claim one way as the only way because that's too closed off and judgmental. When something devastating happens, you may think something is not right in the universe. 

Maybe you don't even know what you believe but when something terrible happens, it's the governments fault. 

I don't know. I'm sitting on this side of the screen able to type these words from the viewpoint of someone who has grown up with a dad who wasn't so wonderful. He died and I never had a conversation that I felt like I needed with him. I married a man who was in the military and was away...a lot. I was with him while both of us were in a car accident that wasn't our fault and I can never erase the damage our lives endured. 

I have experienced a lot of pain and there has been a lot of hurt that has continued. 

Life is hard. 

Just in the last few months our country has experienced hurricanes and mass shootings. There are women that are slaves to men for money, pulled away from the life, family and they've always known. There are children that are dying every day because they have no food at all to eat. 

Life is hard guys.

In the most tender way possible through this screen, I somehow want to tell you that I am able to choose joy, love, peace and thankfulness because of a man named Jesus. He gave me the Holy Spirit as a gift and there is no other way. There is not-not for me. 

I can't make sense of all that is going on and all the loss. There's not an easy answer to bring perfect comfort to all the families that endure intense devastation. Ignoring it does not make it go away. 

A thought had come to me a few weeks ago and I'm still not even sure I can completely articulate what it is that has been stirring but I'm going to try my best. 

Being a mommy is a challenging role. I would not have understood before having kids what that really meant. I know even now, I can only understand on a level with a 3 and 1 year old. 

In simple every day, I am having to be consistent with discipline. Somedays I end feeling so wiped out just from the constant mothering that happens in this home. It sometimes feels miserable and exhausting. There is no break. Being mommy is fun as well-I definitely love it but it's not easy.

Stay with me-

With Cale, its a lot of the same when my emotions are in the driver seat. There's no break. It can be so challenging and lonely. I battle between two roles; wife & caregiver. It's not easy. 

Recently we had family pictures done. I was adventurous and chose to have a shoot done at the state fair. One of my friends Jessica had done a themed shoot at the fair and I loved it! I didn't want a themed shoot but I so loved the idea of how fun the fair is and well, I was also just crazy. Ann, my friend here who is a photographer went with it and was excited as well. 

Speaking of a challenge. Whew. Easton who is normally so smiley and happy was serious and was so focused on all of the colors and sounds. Nora-well, she was Nora and a three year old and also just wanted to eat all of the cotton candy. 

Over the last few weeks since the shoot, Ann has sent me sneak peeks which I have absolutely loved every one of them. 

And this was my thought:

I could only see the moment during the shoot. At one point I sat with Nora and talked with her about obeying Mommy. She was just acting crazy and not listening at all. 

Those moments of harder conversations, when it's not just fun and playing with dinosaurs, they can be draining and frustrating. 

But we can't see the beautiful picture. 

We can't see what God is piecing together and we may never. For Cale and I, our heart is that God would use us and our story. Truly. I don't say that as a light thing or an automatic comment because thats what christians say. I don't say that as a crutch to keep me from depression. 

It's my heart. Our heart. 

I choose to keep loving and serving and growing and learning because I know God sees the whole picture and it's not for me; its for him. It's for his glory...

...and it's beautiful.

When people ask me;

"How do you do it?"

My honest answer is, 


All the messy, the hard and the crazy, it's for Jesus. I can say that with full confidence. 

What about these other awful awful situations where people are dying for nothing?

My heart can not fully process. I can't imagine the anguish. I can't compare or try to reason all I can speak is his name, Jesus

When it seems completely impossible that anything beautiful can come from an ugly situation, I'm confident that with Christ it can be. Somehow. 

If the Holy Spirit is involved, then no matter what mountain is being looked at or valley or desert or whatever other word you would like to insert there, then there is a possibility to choose joy even still. It is possible to choose peace and to choose love. 

It is possible to still be thankful.

It's still possible to see the beauty.


  1. Lena,
    I knew you were awesome but... WOW! Just know that you are loved and prayed for, even a thousand miles away.

  2. Powerful. Thank you.

  3. Choice. Father gives us a choice of how to respond to what He allows in our path. You have chosen well. He is proud of you.

    I love you,

    Cute, cute, cute...all of you are in red shoes. :)

  4. Lauren Smith11/9/17, 6:55 AM

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I have been struggling more than my usual lately, and definitely needed to read those powerful words today. I love your God-given strength and heart! -Lauren

    1. I prayed before posting, as I for the most part do. This time I felt like every word was from the Holy Spirit leading. It was not the post I had started! I ended up erasing the few sentences I had written and let him take over! So thankful they were words that you needed!


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