A letter to my daughter

Today. In about 45 minutes marks your one year in this world.  You came into the world after a little ” hiccup”  where I gave the kind and seasoned OB RN a little scare. Nothing really, just a little too much fluid too fast.  It did wake Evan and I up though. We were already…ready to shit a brick nervous and my little episode brought our ever changing reality to light.

Baby girl you were  planned for, loved from conception and always at the forefront of our heart and mind.. however… we knew that a hurricane of change was coming .

You were breech at 37 weeks and we scheduled your C-section entry to be Feb 20,2018. Phew- those last two weeks were something. I was a bundle of nerves that was on display in the absurd amount of home projects and closet organizing that happened in that little window of time.

After few extra trips to the hospital for blood pressure issues and fluids, I was more than ready to see you. In truth, I did not enjoy growing you. While you were warm and cozy, letting God do his miraculous work, I was feeling all the emotions, physical pain and unsettledness. We will talk about this more at a different time.

So needless to say…..I was desperate to meet you.

Secretly,  a few days before you were born I was doing squats in the exam room before I saw the doctor in hopes that it would raise my blood pressure enough for them to say- TODAY is the day!

Feb 20 2018-

Woke up after surprisingly good sleep, God is good that way.

Went for a pancake breakfast with my Dad.  I will always treasure this. I had to be 8 hours no food before surgery so we went early.

Then we went to Lowes to fix a water tub faucet that ” HAD TO FIXED” you will learn that I am always working on something and I try to distract myself this way. My dad, your grandpa, is the same way and always happy to oblige.

We worked in the bathroom that morning and then time turned into a fuzzy ellipsis, bending and bowing. Evan got home around 2, grabbed the ever efficient Jimmy Johns and ate a huge sub in front of me …

We double checked the bag for the 13th time and then I remember sitting on my bed, making last minute checks when your grandpa came in and got teary. You may know him as a teddy bear… he has not always been this way. He rubbed my head and choked his words. He said, ” My baby is having a baby…”

Then that was it, we waved goodbye and went to the hospital.

Checking in like a dentist apt then given my “cute” garb. Fluids began… I had said hiccup  and then the next thing I knew I was being wheeled down the hallway, without your dad to the OR.

Your mommy is very comfortable in the OR, loves it actually,but all of sudden I felt vulnerable and a little confident-scared. I hopped on the table, you still warm and safe and the I almost took out the nurse who hugged me while I was given a spinal.

Then in what seemed like 2 minutes, the room was filled with 20 people, Evan walked in a Ghostbusters suit and I was FINALLY going to meet you.

10 minutes later after some tunes blaring in the background while the OBs did their work. You were here.

You cried and were HUGE. So much bigger than I thought you would be.

They put you on my chest, your Dad and I looked at each other in disbelief.

They wheeled me down the hall and I just looked at you… you were REAL and perfect.

48 hours later… we will talk about that at a different time too. We were taking you hope.

I had a glorious moment of effervescent champagne, our couch and two pups at my feet. Ahhhh…. we were home!


This first year-

You were a hurricane.

A beautiful, curious and intelligent hurricane.

You taught me self sacrifice, operating on very little sleep, the power of the google search engine, deep and weepy kindness, risk assessment, the power of logistics and the power of a good snuggle!

You taught your father and I, to be clear communicators, you reassured us that we were indeed the DREAM TEAM, you made us laugh and gave us more than one night of late night conversation. You were the merge of two different worlds in a beautiful symbiosis.

Ella Rose.

You are. Will always be. My sunshine and hurricane. You are God’s greatest gift to us to date. You are … us.




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Freedom, Christmas and Holiday Ramblings…



It is the week before Thanksgiving and I cant stop thinking about Christmas! Currently the Country Classic Christmas tunes are playing in the background and I purchased my first  holiday investment… a hot glue gun for crafts!

Is it just me but this year…. I’m just so excited for this holiday season.

This year will be our 3rd Christmas at out little ranch and it feels about time to make some “traditions” dog-on-it!

What are yours???

…. it will be our last Christmas as just the two of us… perhaps that is why I am feeling especially nostalgic….or my favorite scapegoat #pregnancyhormones

This year scheduling has worked itself out, don’t you love it when that happens? The juggling of two large extended families can get sticky but thankfully with my fellas new work schedule and flexible family ,we are making it work.

Insert no segway

A dear friend of my mine asked me a question that keeps reeling in my head… “Who am I in Christ?” ” Who does God say that I am?”  Much of this year after reading over some dated posts have been me working out this question.

Here is what I have concluded: If you have chosen to have a relationship with Christ then you are..

A Daughter of the King… Gal 3:26

Redeemed … Eph 1:7

Beautiful … Psalm 139:13-16

Worthy.. Prov 31:10

More than externally beautiful… 1 Peter 3:3-4

Victorious… Phil 4:13

Joyful… John 15:11

Transformed … Rom 12:2

and perhaps my favorite ….

Free … John 8:36

” So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”


I am learning that my emotions are not a reliable indicator of current reality anymore. Perhaps its because they are so labile but perhaps a lesson. What if we defined our world by Truth instead of our emotional state? Is this possible?

What if we let an eternally verified document define us instead of perception? … oh  what freedom on the other side of that …

A recent ladies retreat has me grateful for my little home, my fella and a God who has bared much grief from me. Nothing like getting away from home and in a beautiful environment to remind you of the good stuff . Perhaps in Voskampesque structure.

#1 Puppies… because lets me honest, that make the world a better place

#2 An excellent cup of coffee.. preferred in bed surrounded by said pups

#3 An intellectual debate between my fella and I. May I never take for granted his keen mind and may I always respect his giftedness.

#4 God’s word: its so compact and complete. Thank you for all the people who have spent the oodles of hours translating.

#5 THIS TIME OF YEAR! The pumpkins, cranberries, warm beverages, shopping, gathering, love, charity, giving, remembering, hoping, twinkly lights, crafts, hugs and peace.








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Today I turn 28 and also 20 weeks. Half way there.

I will no long mourn change …What if praise were a sacrifice ?

I praise the Father for 28 pretty incredible years.

I say thank you to the mother who birthed me, this day, a Monday too.

I say thank you for the home that raised me and all those the leaf piles that I remember needing diving into once i hopped off the yellow school bus.

For my mother making me feel so special on my birthdays. When I was tiny… and yesterday.

For the way she would let me eat birthday cake for breakfast.

For the birthday parties that became all night adventures that included “camping” in an old 1950s pop up camper… with endless go fish games….



For all those boxes of love shipped to me on my birthday when i lived too far….

Perhaps its the hormones, they have me feeling all of life these days on ” broil” instead of the steady “simmer” i remember not so long ago… but this birthday, feels a little different.

No special number, nothing particular…. except that it is this day that changed my mother’s life. It made her a mother…. and my world changing is approaching too.

I now wonder how she might have felt. Excited? Scared? What would i look like? Could she actually do this? …. it was this day… those expectations were met with reality.

My parents drove 3 hours each way to have lunch with me yesterday. They hardly left the driveway before I wept. Feeling so humbled by them giving their love so freely.

I praise the Father for the gifts he gives us on earth to remind us of the joy to come.

This season, I have not been particularly “good”  — or up to — “doing lots of good things”

… o that works based theology is a hard bed mate to kick.


BUT,  this season I have felt so deeply loved. Loved by my darling husband, friends, family and my Father. Imagine that, that we can’t do enough good things to impress the God of the Universe, but rather are loved mercifully in spite of ourselves.

Today… this day.. one woman’s world changed and she has not stopped loving me to best of her ability since…

Today… i am reminded that this woman’s life is changed when the Father reminds you of how loved feels..

May you, birthday or not, feel loved and appreciate the gifts that make your world sparkle.






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On Purpose



Those weeks where its just hum drum… rise, work, dine, rest, repeat.. what do we make of these?

Can the extraordinary happen in these long, often laborious, days? Can we see a glimpse of the eternal, Light, supernatural beauty in the midst of alarm clocks, laundry and crocklightpot dinners….


Where is the space for such abundance?  Can we only catch a fleeting glance in the deep woods, on mountaintops, cushioned retreats?

If the majority of our life is spent in these work-rest-repeat cycles… how do get to LIVING?

How to do make the most of our vapor days while having to drive miles to work, fold towels and vacuum endless puppy fur?

Here are my ideas:

  • The dearly loved, what I will call the ” Voskamp Method” where we get to listing! Listing the big and tiny things we are grateful for, all the things that are our gifts.
  • Pray for awareness of the Holy Spirit and His work in those in front of you.
  • Carve out time to break up the routine: turn off our gadgets, read a real book, walk around your neighborhood.. maybe even talk to your neighbors.  py
  • Being interruptible.  As we search for the eternal, may we also let it happen to us. Answer that coffee date request, that friend who brought back your clean pyrex bowl just may need to linger.. they may just need ears to hear them. May I welcome those unplanned instances
  • Remembering that the season you and I are in are just that…. seasons, not endless. Our work may look the same for years to come but YOU will be different in those years. You will bring different skills and offerings to the table. I choose to believe that we are where we are for a reason and that it is….. only for season. Maybe knowing my current reality wont be forever is helpful to remedy the mundaneness
  • Reminding myself that to compare is to rob myself of joy. May the Father help us to bolster, bring up and raise up women who work to love– not compare and steal–the joy of the Father’s unique giftings.

I certainly do not have this figured out, but when my gyspy soul gets anxious and seeks novelty and adventure ( not that there is anything inherently wrong with these things) that maybe its a call to stillness. A call to stop distracting myself, the ways we numb our broken dreams, yea I went there.

May when those little pinpricks of ” is this all there is?” come loud overhead, may we choose to hear a different caller.

May we choose that our life is ON PURPOSE and that if we just sit still and be present in it then maybe it wont be so…. insert your adjective here.



As someone who has one foot in a familiar world ( Christian, PA, wife, crazy dog lady) and the other foot into a world that *cough* no one has any trouble telling me how “I don’t know what is coming.” A world where I will wear a new name, new life, new routine, newness… you can imagine these worlds are tricky to straddle. Maybe this is why we are pregnant for 9 months… to get used to this idea of the cosmic shift happening around us.

As I feel the yearning to meet my little girl but also for her to stay inside of me forever, I am reminded that in some ways this is how we who are believers feel about the world. We want it, want to experience, see, love, do it all— but we also have a yearning to be nestled into the safety of our Father’s arms in His house where Peace reigns.

May I remember that I am where I am for a reason and only for a season ( disregard the cheeseball rhyme)

May I remember that I will always feel conflicted about my state here on this side of eternity.. because well… its not eternity

May I remember that my Father is good and the gifts he has given to me should be celebrated and written down..

May I remember that there may not be simple answers to these soul hole kind of questions but there are still things I can do to be grounded and rooted in my claundryurrent reality.

May you be grounded and start to see the veil lifted in your world this week perhaps…. as you do your laundry 🙂



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Boone this weekend. Old friends packed into a old townhouse kitchen. Coffee and rice crispy treats kept passing round. Laughter and old jokes.. timelessness in the air.

These people have walked through the awkward times, the scary times, broken times and now new times.

What joy in being known.preg

Driving fast round’ mountain curves, that I knew so well, while being in a place that is growing and changing. It was a blessing to be back where I once was in a new place in both mind and body.. even Spirit.breeze

Change… for once… feels like a autumn breeze instead of lightening storm.  Goodnight.




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San Isabel and Becoming.



San Isabel National Forest, CO.


Spent this Labor day in Colorado, Reconnecting and Reclaiming.

Big sky, the night sky is cold, crisp, makes your nose run but then you take that biting air deep into your lungs and you look up. You see the expansive abyss and enjoy the tiny… you being the tiny in a timeless state.  The cold now less biting but rather the blanket of landscape.

The fire crackles and sways… reds, oranges and blues… the smell of burning birch. The aspens leaves turning gold. Witnessing the season change makes me get a little silly happy. The leaves making their departure from their more original purpose before serving a new one as a coating for the tundra floor.


You cant help but get a dial reset when you experience the Colorado landscape. Sunflowers growing on the side of the roads, the running of the Arkansas beneath my toes and post-card worthy mountains in every backdrop.

This weekend was rugged, exhausting, simple and reminded me of what seems like a lifetime ago when I called my little “pumpkin” tent more than an occasional visitor.  It felt good, like going home to your childhood home and kicking off your shoes good, but different.


I make the mistake that you can capture moments and seasons twice, and this time in the backcountry of San Isabel National forest I did feel the familiar nostalgia of a season passed but with a new feeling….  gratitude for my current season and its complexity.

My pregnancy has not been what I thought it would be thus far. No warm fuzzies or cooing over tiny shoes. Rather, growing this tiny girl,  has been the greatest act of willpower I have had to date. To muster the energy to wake, shower and get my self dressed for work has felt momentous.  Sickness, fear, depression, loneliness and trepidation has been my salty reality for the last several months.

I needed this weekend to remember the gal I once was. To have dirt under her nails, pee outside and pitch a tent in the cold rain. To climb mountains and have a sore body from the work I asked of it. To feel capable and competent.

This wild merger of who I once was and who I was becoming came to clarity this weekend.

My heart is shifting from the suck-the-marrow out of life because you never know when it will be stripped from you perspective ( this fact is still constant and a driving force of my worldview) to something entirely different.

It wasen’t about my esoteric identity crisis I have from time to time but rather about my DAUGHTER.

I wanted to teach her to make a fire… much better than the boys I watched silently do a sub par job.

To show her the creation that connects me with the creator and I pray will  her too…

To teach her to be brave

To teach her that she can strong and vulnerable.

To stand up against wrong

To value the timelessness of our world and the ever constant that its also slipping from out hands…

To be a woman who is both physically and spiritually strong. Resistant to schemes of the attackers…

This labor day, I reconnected with a woman who was and who is becoming, both in my soul and my womb.

I remembered that you can not live seasons twice and perhaps this is God’s gift and reminder of our mortal pilgrimage.

What beauty of wildness of the wilderness. What equal beauty in becoming.

Psalm 127:3-4
Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. 
   Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.


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Vines, Roots and the Vine Dresser..

Centered in Christ…. what does this mean?


Much fruit…

..Love… Joy..Peace.. Forbearance.. Kindness.. Gentleness and Self control.

Do I muster these ? Will these into being? Just try a little harder….

No these come by the Power of the Spirit…

How do we know the will of the Spirit… know the Spirit Maker

He says he is…

I am the true vine :: John 15:1-5
I am the way, the truth, and the life:: John 14:6

I am the door of the sheep:: John 10:7
I am the good shepherd:: John 10:11-14

I am the light of the world:: John 9:5, John 8:12
I am the bread of life:: John 6:35-48

Maybe we are to be reminded of the  I AM…

The vine dresser.. he is our vine dresser… “A person who prunes, trains, and cultivates vines.” 

I am being pruned, reminded of my filth, my vine branches that are loose, that are hanging on by tethers, that are not rooted deep… roots

 Lord, speak into the darkness, into the silence into the place of too many words…
To abide in you I must know you.
To follow you I must know you.
To be obedient I know know you.
To know you.. I must pray. I must read your word. I must yield to my sin nature.
To yield I must be equipped and empowered by YOU.
I need YOU for each of these these. To know YOU I need YOU.
Perhaps this is the heart of the gospel…
Perhaps the vinedresser is the planter, pruner, pressure-washer, picker, purchaser, Prince and path maker.
Where are you my sweet friends? Are you experiencing the WATERING needed for your roots to go deep, are you rusty edges getting cut off? Are you in a season of parched perseverance? Where is YOUR heart?
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Time outside resets the dials. My fella and I spent some time in a National Forest that was near my job… it by the grace of God was not on fire. We passeled up the pups, went for a little walk, grilled out, sipped on bourbon and celebrated freedom.

celebrating freedom…

For me that looks like being out of cell service range, the dogs off the leash, no bed time or wake up call, some sort of deep acoustic melody in the background and something warm in a mug….

what is your freedom? what freedoms do we sweep neatly under the rug…


My fella is beginning the job hunt after many thousands of hours in the books… he is ironing suits, haircuts, shining shoes… the freedom to pursue.. to not have to settle…to go after it…

The paradox of my life’s little flame and those who call Sudan, Bloemfontein, Hong Kong… home….

I want. I prepare. I choose. I.. I… I…..

What if by God’s still-just plan, we were born somewhere that freedom of everything was not a mouse click away? What if we given little to no choice at all? What if we depended on the Father for our actual daily bread.. not the whispers in a prayer.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often brimming in my periphery.. what if we were born in a place and time that self discovery, pursuit of happiness, jean size and family size were not even on our radar.

Often pining for a simpler life, reminiscing of times when my backpack or Dora the Explorer ( yes I anthropomorphized my old SUV, don’t judge me) were all that I had. A camp stove and clean socks were just enough. My day would revolve around miles hiked, miles paddled and what I would be making for dinner…

How do we reconcile living the suburban life with endless choices  that many of us are called to and still practice a simple, grateful and brave life. A life that sings freedom’s song.

How do I wring out the white guilt, the what ifs, the you shoulds of being a young woman, a wife, a Christ- follower, a lover and discerner.


The notion that having a fenced in yard isn’t the antithesis of freedom, that the life we are called for may look like the one of our dreams or for me.. absolutely nothing. Im thankful that my dreams aren’t coming true these days… I am thankful for an Author who is into freedom paving..

To be free in the whirls of screens, to be free with recurring bills and financial planning…

Shame on me for having such a narrow view of what freedom is…

Galatians 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

1 Peter 2:16-17 “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  Honor everyone.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the emperor.”

He gives us the freedom to choose..



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Glorybeans, Albemarle, Criticism and the last Frontier.


Jack Johnson bumpy thumpy goodness overhead, a big-thick- deep- beautiful wooden table. At a teensy coffee shop in Albemarle NC, a new work assignment.

Good gracious how i avoided writing….. i am literally in front of this screen almost everyday, but i don’t write.

I know I should. I know you never avoid the things that you know are good for you, eh?

Writing for me you see, its therapy. I write to wrangle chaos, you know the stuff that is flying endlessly around your mind, for me- it needs a place. Here will do for now.

Fall is here. Its the Father’s whisper to me that .. good things are to come. The crisp air is full of promise. Promise of leaves, pumpkin everything, rainy days and eventual snowflakes and then Christmas. Sweet Sweet Christmas, the twinkly lights, warm blankets, fireplace… oh gosh I’ll stop im melting already.

Can a person wait all year for Octobers?


This year my fella and I were able to vacation to a place where autumn came early, wild Alaska. The gold in the leaves.. ya’ll….. God is good and he is BEAUTIFUL.

These past few seasons… I have avoided putting words in it. Lets just hit the highlights.

My mom had a second ablation. No further arrhythmias.. amen.

My grandfather passed away, and the Lord let me be there. Today would have been his 58 wedding anniversary. My grandmother remains as a testament to endurance and kindness in the midst of hard times.

My fella’s 2.5 years of studying have come to an end. amen. I am proud of him for persevering even with those closest to him discouraging. He has been and will always be the smartest person I know.  Overcoming looks like this.

The dad,fella and I took a trip together. The longest amount of time I have spent with my dad since I have left home, almost 10 years ago now. What a privilege to see the world. To see it with those you love. To see  the spectacle of Gods beauty across His face.

As much as i love to travel. The bag packed, plane boarded, mimosas, adventures… this last trip made me ever more grateful for real life. I missed the people that I have been given to laugh with, love with, care for, to live… with.

Reality, no need to escape. Just sink your heels and open your head, heart and for me my ears. Perhaps these seasons of our lives are not a chance, not a fluke, not punishment but preparing… preparing.

To a touchy subject: This year I have faced criticism by those I respect and love.

Lets get real:

  1. its going to happen, its what people do, its how people cope with their unmet expectations, it can be retaliatory.
  2. we are fallen people and we often are the accuser
  3. we need it sometimes, its how we grow… gah, if i have to hear ” calm seas never made a skillful sailor..” one more time.
  4. ok its unavoidable … and here is the kicker for me… it allows us to show grace when it hurts. did you hear that? that was stomach in the floor. Our Father did not save us simply from heat, he saved us from the slaves we are to ourselves. When I am criticized I feel the need to explain, to SHOW you, to alleviate. Sometimes this may be appropriate, however over this year for myself… its an opportunity to let it go. To love the sinners, to die to pride and the sneaky sin of BEING RIGHT, to biting our tongue, to saving the tears.

This year has been one of great growth in my little sphere, professionally, relationally and most importantly my walk with my Father- but anger though can be righteous is often not and has inked its way into my quiet places. Have you been inked too lately?

To be misunderstood is painful. To accept it, perhaps this too is growth. To acknowledge that at the end of my days, I answer to One.  Our life was never promised to be understood. I must accept that I too may be misunderstood. And that as daughters of a Prince, that’s ok. Its ok for your family to not get it, for your peers, for your friends sometimes, for your neighbors, for those closest to us even….

Life lesson for 2016: Live your life under the scrutiny of others for an audience of one. The One.


Now onto that pumpkin spice latte….. because.. well…. its October.

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Chosen joy, bread friends and life lessons this season.


Shooting stars, my thoughts fly across my mind like hurling globes of fire without an endpoint.

A different season, its hard for me to articulate, perhaps maybe this what I haven’t.

I am on the verge of tears these days, for a myriad of reasons. Have you ever felt like a big-fat- faker?  Now the proud owner of a professional degree, professional responsibilities and now well into my professional career.  One would think I would adopt this professional professionalism.

Now more than ever I ache for adventure. I ache for back-porch fiddle picking in the cool of mountain air. The dirt under your nails, sand in your shoes and tired shoulders from paddling.  Do you have that thing? perhaps that place?  Perhaps it is filled with a little trepidation because your relationship with that thing hasen’t always been smooth but it still has an ability to water your soul.  For some, running, painting, piano playing, quilting, rock climbing, hiking and the list goes on….

Where does the balance of life enter? Something tells me it doesn’t, that you carve it out.  I am learning that as adult one must live more intentionally than ever. How do you live intentionally?

As someone who has lost someone they loved and is sometimes paralyzed by the fear of losing another, our time on this globe is so small. How do we make the most of this tiny window in space?

Lessons from this season:

  1. Call you momma and tell her that you love her.
  2. Joy is chosen.
  3. Good music soothes the soul
  4. Whiskey is not for sad times
  5.  If you don’t make time to write, you wont.
  6.  Home is a hard word to define.
  7.  Friends, they are how you get through. They unpack boxes, order sushi and serve you walks and bread when you need it the most. I am so grateful.
  8. Marriage does not get easier, you just get better at it. Then when you think your getting better, humble pie comes in large slices.
  9. A healthy heart, mind and soul may never be attainable, some place always has to give a bit.
  10. Gods word never ceases to convict
  11. Be quicker to listen and slower to speak.
  12. Sometimes your opinions just need to be kept to yourself.
  13. At the end of the day, sometimes, Netflix is really what you need.
  14. Introversion, I might be acquiring you.
  15. My job still scares me but is one of the largest privileges I have ever been given.

” Teach me how to see when I close my eyes, teach me to forgive and to apologize. Teach me how to love when I feel so small, teach me how to love in the darkest dark.

Take me to the place where I feel no shame, take where courage doesn’t need a name. Learning how to cry is the hardest part. There is only one way to mend a broken heart”

— Wailin  Jennys

Maybe you are learning to see when you close your eyes? Maybe your in a teary season? Maybe you are so full of joy you are bursting at the seams. Please tell me about your bread friends, your chosen joy and the place that waters your soul.



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