Grace for the win…

I think it’s time for us married people to huddle up and bust out our best cheers for better marriages and stronger families. Please hear me out: Marriage is hard. It may be different for you than for me, but none of us are lounging on bear skin rugs sipping wine in front of a roaring fire… Can we agree on that?

The news recently has shined a spotlight on infidelity. It makes me wish all these families who are reeling in heartbreak could suit up and rush the football field, busting through a paper banner that says F-A-M-I-L-Y so we could cheer for them and wave posters that say, We are rooting for you guys!!!

I think it matters how your friends respond when things are hard. Personally, I love it when my friends say, I love your family. It’s a different sentiment than just loving me. It tells me they are rooting for all four of us – for our little team. I keep thinking how meaningful it would be for every marriage in crisis to hear their friends and family say, We love you both. In the case of infidelity it means, We don’t think you’re pathetic for trying to forgive and stay together – and – We know sometimes good people make terrible mistakes. We need to cheer for the quarterback AND the running back because a Family wins or loses as a team.

For Bryan and me, the biggest struggle we face is an illness that wants to beat us down. Your struggles may be totally different, but to paraphrase Voltaire, you can’t pull out a scale and measure another man’s grief. It’s all hard, people. Marriage in all its forms is an enormous act of faith – and endurance. You and I don’t really want to swap out all our heartaches and problems, do we?

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Today, Bryan and I were featured on the Instagram account The Way We Met. I love our story and I love Bryan very much, but if you think we have it all figured out then you are nuts.

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The pressure-cooker of an incurable disease does not make a marriage easier. What does make it better is God’s faithfulness. He has never let us fall through his fingers and He never will. We see His love shining through our friends and family and it fills us up. I cannot over-state what that means for our lives. I want that kind of love and grace and encouragement for all these families dealing with whatever it may be.

I think we all need each other. Are you in?


“No pillow is as soft as a clear conscience.” – French Proverb

I was on the phone with my über-organized friend Kristina today who said my blog posts about getting organized are making her feel bad. Say, what? This woman lived across the street from me for three years. She knows about the laundry room. She knows about the caveat on my blog!

“Kristina, you know I’m not taking pictures of the messes around here!” I said.

“Well you should! We will all feel better!” was her reply – and since I love her so much, here are some pictures of the not at all organized parts of our house…

One of my children struggles to maintain the organizational systems I’ve implemented in her room, such as labeling the drawers so she knows where to put her clean clothes. This is our status quo. It’s fine, you know? Choose your battles?

I didn’t have time to photograph her room a couple weeks ago when we made it look so nice – which only took 3 days! I am not kidding – if I can see carpet, we are in pretty good shape.

I have another child whose room is always neat and tidy with the glaring exception of a pile of debris in his closet. He is like me – it doesn’t bother him unless he has to look at it. (See further examples below…)

I got the Christmas decorations boxed up in time for New Years (yay) and then left the containers in the living room until this summer when I finally shoved them in the closet under the stairs. They’re too heavy to lug up to the attic by myself and when people were here visiting I’d forget to ask for help! Anyway, the kids climb in this closet playing hide-and-seek, so now the Christmas stuff is knocked over and spilling out into the camping supplies.

I have lost 0 minutes of sleep over the Christmas decor situation.

This is the shelf in the big armoire in my office where I shove things I want to keep but don’t actually use, such as my desk calendars from the past 15+ years…

This is a great example of my working theory that the house is clean when the parts you see look nice. I just don’t open this cabinet. I open the cabinet to the left which has cute baskets of neatly organized office supplies and stationary. 🙂

This is my laundry room… looking awesome! Cleaning supplies mostly in a bin! Floor mostly clear! Door opens freely! No conspicuous trip-hazards!

This is real life, people. When in doubt, assume we got nothin’ but real life happening at our house. ❤

Now, may I please go back to taking pretty pictures? These are gross.