My Mother’s Story

My mom became a member of the our church back in Wisconsin and apart of that was sharing your testimony with the pastor and elders last week. My mom didn’t know quite what to say, so she wrote a prayer poem to the Lord… so I thought I’d share. To know how far my mom has come and all that she has been through… this is only a tiny peek, but I’m so blessed and amazed to have been in her life and apart of this story that it really makes all that I’ve been through worth it. Hope you enjoy my mother’s story.

Lord Jesus when I was little,
I knew just who you were.
Great almighty and powerful,
always willing to hear your word.

I believe you guided my parents,
as they taught me wrong from right.
Sending me to Sunday school,
and praying with me each and every night.

I attended Catholic Church,
I attended Catholic school.
There I learned about you Lord,
and the 12 most important rules.

Often when I attended school and Church,
I was not the happiest there.
I felt like I was being judged,
Like they were not being fair.

So it was then I fell from my Church,
That I attended regularly.
Tried to make it on my own,
and now its no surprise to me.

Yes Lord, I have stumbled,
Struggling through the years.
Looking hard to find you,
knowing you were always near.

Lord I come to you a sinner,
Lord I have made the most terrible mistakes.
Before you Lord I ask forgiveness,
please keep me in your grace.

When asked once how I found you,
the words seemed hard to find.
And then with thought, how it occurred,
the very place and time…

Yes it was in a car ride,
you know going from here to there.
Through the words of my little girl,
she asked me just to share…

When at first she asked me…
Mom, how are you and God today?
Was Christ my Lord and Savior?
Was it clear I knew the way?

I was caught a bit off guard,
Not sure of exactly what to say.
Patiently she heard the explanation,
that I thought of right away.

I assured her, Christ is my Lord,
he has always been in my heart.
That I have always looked to him,
confident that he guided my heart.

It was just then that I began to realize,
that there was so much more that I needed to do,
to make my peace with God,
and my Lord and Savior too.

I needed to make a commitment,
with all my strength and might.
To live each day with the Love of God,
and Christ as my guiding light.

I know that I am human,
and my temptations can be strong.
There will be times I need to pray,
to stay the path I am on.

Lord you are my savior,
its you I want to serve.
Make me your disciple,
help me to learn and teach your word.

Help me to learn your holy book,
search the words each and every day.
Help me to hear the sermon,
and understand this is the only way.

Now I stand before you,
God in the house you have built.
Please let this be my home,
now free from my past sins and guilt.

Lord I give myself to you,
I know you will guide the way.
Lord, each day know that I will seek you,
and give you all the glory each and every day.

Carry on in faith and love,


Pizza and learning to play without the queen.

(This is a long one, but a long time coming! God has done some great work!)

First I think I need to describe my grandfather. Yes. This is a good idea.

He was average height and dark skinned. Polish. I remember him best seeing him growing his giant, tall tomato plants in the garden; always shirtless, his skin was tight but also wrinkly. When he spoke his polish accent shaped every word, it was a low grumbly voice. Inside the house, he would always offer us (the grandkids) gum. My favorite was finding really old Big Red in a drawer because it would snap when you bent it. My grandpa was a hard worker and spent time in a concentration camp as a POW during WWII, but he never talked about it because somethings in life “were best left in the past”. He coined the catchphrase in our family “you can do it like a lion or you can do it like a lamb, but you still gotta do it” and that was the mentality my mom passed on to us kids. My grandpa didn’t have a mother figure in his life, apparently she had died when he was five so his dad raised him and taught him to play chess. When my great grandfather taught my grandpa and his siblings to play, they learned to play without the queen: to teach them that the other players had very important roles and could win the game without her and then also to show them that as they depended on each other (the knights and rookies, pawns and bishops) they would work wonderfully together and if the queen came back into the game, the rest of the pieces knew how to function to their ability and could compliment the queen. This my grandpa passed down to my mother as well, as her mother was diagnosed with delusional schizophrenia and was placed into an institution so my mom too had to learn to play without the queen.


My mom was telling me this story tonight as we sat at a local pizza place (its much too classy to be called a ‘joint’) in my hometown.  I want to share with you an amazing story that unfolds to show God redeeming love and power! Last Thanksgiving break I remember my mom telling me that I couldn’t understand disappointment because I had such an easy life; I remember responding with tears and shouting as I confessed to her that I had been suicidal and stuck in depression for most of my childhood. Before coming back she had blamed me for the riff in her relationship with my dad, words that stabbed far deeper than any knife could and I cried myself to sleep listening to Hold My Heart by Tenth Avenue North praying and waiting for the pain to stop. Coming back to school, surrounded by believers I sought to allow God to change my circumstances and to change my heart. Exodus 20:12 says “Honor your father and mother so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” and Ephesians 6:2-3 quotes Deuteronomy by saying “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” I went to a conference over Christmas break that year on the same topic. I knew regardless of how I felt about it or how much I thought she earned or deserved honor, I was going to honor because of the promise God made if I obeyed. It’s been a roller coaster of humbleness since.

Now that I’ve caught you up on the mess (and you can read plenty of previous posts on the matter) I’d like to tell you where we are now.

My mom and I sat at the restaurant for an hour talking about the magnificent work Jesus has done in our lives and the brokenness it has come through. Both of us. Mainly her. Oh Frabjous Day! Cahloo! Callay! How I chortled in my joy!Better yet, we wept beside one another in a church in my hometown yesterday when singing From The Inside Out by Hillsong. What is the cause for this change?

God is at the end of your rope. A couple times a week I pass a sign outside of a church on the west side of Ames and that’s what its said for the last week. God is at the end of your rope.

I mentioned in my post Lord the Healer and Redeemer that my mom’s boyfriend Jeff was diagnosed with cancer and only had a limited time (3-9 months) left to live. 3-9 months turned out to be three weeks. I received a call one night from my mom that Jeff wouldn’t make it through the night. God put it on my heart to share the gospel with him so I left everything and a beloved sister (my kindred spirit) drove 6 hours with me. In the span of 22 hours, we drove there, met his wife and kids, and paced and prayed for 7 hours (well, my friend slept somewhere). I had no idea what I was doing- but I knew that as the hour grew later (or earlier I should say) my time was coming as his time was ending. 6 am I asked to speak to him alone. His body was frail and almost non existent on the hospital bed. His eyes yellow. He reached out often to grab things that weren’t there, but when I called his attention he would look at me. As I shared I asked if he wanted to accept Jesus as his payment for his sins, but no answer. I left it in God’s hands. 5 hours later I gave him a hug and said goodbye, I whispered into his ear to watch for Jesus and lifted up the rest to God. I left and couldn’t hold in the tears. The sadness was too real. I hugged my mom tightly and we talked of Gods love. My friend and I drove back to Ames. 22 hours. The next morning was a friday and my mom had called to tell me he had passed. It’s been God’s healing work ever since.

I had been praying recently in the last month for my mom, that she would find a church to get plugged into and another believer to come a long side of her. Last week (or so) my mom called me on a Sunday to tell me about her time at church for the 3rd week in a row and how she wanted to make it her highest commitment. No excuses. She just ordered glasses and as soon as they came in she was going to start reading two pages of the Bible everyday. I’ve been sending her messages on CDs about topics I think will help bring healing to her heart and songs about God’s love to bring comfort. She’s been going to church with a woman named Judy, who I was able to lift my hands of praise next to at church. I couldn’t wipe away the tears fast enough.

Its like- in the depths of ALL of this brokenness that just thrives all around me, knitting my family together, God is working powerfully. Theres still more work to do. But if you are encouraged by anything out of this, let it be that God can and will change your life and your family’s life if you seek to obey His words. It may take a long time, but let it be worth it. It makes take hours of tears and heart wrenching pain, but get through it. Keep fighting the good fight of faith. Keep thanking God for the hard stuff even when nothing in you wants to. Look your self in the mirror and say “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfied your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5) And don’t let your self forget it.

This thanksgiving I’m thankful for everything above written. Even the messy stuff. It was worth it just to experience the glory of God within my family.

What are you thankful for?


A little over a year ago was November… the height of my intolerable relationship with my mom. It climaxed with a horrendous argument in the car, not the kind where two people just argued because they were too afraid to say what they had really wanted to say… no, this was the kind where we both started to say all the things we had never said. 

I remember being confused as to whether I had told my mom too much, hurt because of all the things that had been said, and tired of the relationship we had. It was just the beginning. I survived being at home that time, went back to school, and started to pray more about how to fix our relationship… and most of it came down to me and my heart. Winter break came, tussles happened, but this time it was different because I started apologizing for the things I had been doing that hurt her. I started practicing submission to her authority and patience to her impatience. I started talking about the things God  was teaching me and sharing my life more with her. I started telling her different testimonies of different people’s lives. I started asking her about her life. As life went on, God became more involved. As life went on I needed God more to help the relationship grow. As life went on, our relationship began to change. God gave me love in my heart and a promise that if I honor my parents… I will have joy! As God began to knit us back together, God began to be what we were knitted out of. My mom started asking me to pray for things, my mom started to pray with me. She began to open up about the things God was doing in her life and she began to depend more on him. 

For Christmas this year I bought my mom a bible that I had gone through and highlighted all of the verses that really impacted me. Some of them were verses that I thought needed to be emphasized for her understanding, but most of them were snipbits of my heart and what God used to take me through some of the valley’s I went through. It took two hours. When I gave it to her for Christmas, she was thankful. I was glad and prayed she would read it. 

Earlier this week in the car, we were coming home from spending some time together out and about. I began to ask her about her relationship with God and if she understood that Christ forgave our sins by his blood… nothing but. The conversation curved many ways and I was left feeling as though she doesn’t completely understand… but I’m hopeful. 

The conversation did go one way though. My mom started talking about her boss who recently had been my mom’s project to convince that God is real and answers prayers. She smiled and told me that he was reading the bible I gave her the other day. She’s seeing a change in him. 

That was really encouraging for me and very much praise worthy. It’s a blessing to be interwoven in their lives and to have it come by small and big steps of faith. God provides and is faithful to his promises. Praise you Father that you care so much about your children!