Category Archives: Patience

A Beautiful Mess

I’ve been a mess the past few days.  A pregnant, emotional, occasionally ugly-crying mess.  In a matter of milliseconds, I’ve gone from laughing hysterically to bawling my eyes out and back.  Wrestling with vastly different emotions on behalf of dear friends: miscarriages, pregnancies in peril, healthy babies born, cancer diagnoses, relationships restored, jobs lost and found.  Add in a healthy dose of pregnancy hormones and you’re left with one whopping mess* of tears and chocolate cravings.  (*insert prayer for my dear husband here)

Then Thursday night came.  The whole drive to pick up Jordan from teaching had me, once again, in tears.  Being the genius that I am, I decided to play a Kathryn Scott song that has me weepy on a sanguine day.  Eliana must have been wondering, “what the heck is wrong with my mother?!”  She simply laughed and sang her heart away all the while.  Our trek from Jordan’s office to Journey for worship band rehearsal had thankfully less tears with precious encouragement coming from my wonderful husband (also probably wondering “what the heck is wrong with my wife?!”)

As the band set up and prepped for rehearsal, I saw a dear friend of mine.  Within moments, we both were sharing tears and our struggles from the week.  Though we live quite a distance apart, we both had been experiencing similar emotions and wrestling with similar heartaches from our own experiences and on behalf of mutual friends.  We cried, we expressed our own confusion in ourselves and not having the answers to the questions that perplexed us.  We laughed at our hysteria and how grateful we are for husbands who love us in spite of us.

Then we were able to pray together.  What a gift it was to pray together to the God who hears, even while not having all the answers ourselves.  I’m so grateful for friendships that bear burdens, rejoice together and regardless of current circumstances, go with you before the Throne.  God worked through those few moments together with this wonderful woman to bring peace amidst my madness and to encourage my hormonal heart.

The rest of rehearsal was a beautiful time for me, relishing in the truth of the lyrics we sang and surrounded by incredible music played by people who genuinely love their Savior.  By evening’s end, I left encouraged and at peace.  Granted, I still feel the weight of concern for friends facing trying times.  But God had worked through my steadfast husband, a dear friend, and the songs we rehearsed as a soothing balm on my emotional, weary heart.  Will I cry again tomorrow?  Probably.  After all, I am still quite pregnant.  But I’ll be able to laugh at myself in the midst of the raging emotions and confusing times, knowing that ultimately God still holds my whole world in His hands and that I am not alone.  Thank you, Lord, for all the ways you work in my life.  Even in my weakest moment, Your strength shines all the more.

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Filed under Friends, God, Journey Church, Patience, Struggles, Thoughts

Perils of a Pregnant Brain

A pregnant mind is a perilous thing.  At least it is in my case.  As previously mentioned, I have been beyond forgetful during this pregnancy.  Like embarrassingly forgetful!  Paying cash for a dinner while saying a generous, “Keep the change,” only to learn that I didn’t even leave the fellow enough to cover the bill.  Loosing my phone multiple times on a daily basis.  When asked what my age was, replying with a cheery, “19!  Nope…wait…I’m 29.”  Well, yesterday topped them all.

Jordan and I have a great routine with Eliana after dinnertime.  One of us does her bath and gets her ready for bed while the other cleans the kitchen/family room.  We swap out day-to-day and it has really worked well for us.  By 8 pm each night, we have a happy sleeping girl and a clean apartment to relax in.  Fabulous!  Tuesday night found me on bath duty with Jordan recovering the kitchen from dinner.  Eliana was adorable as always, splashing and giggling to her heart’s content while singing a random song during her bath.  Once she was scrubbed and near pruned, I got her ready for bed: lotion, jammies, clean teeth, brushed and dried hair.  The result – a happy, sparkly little lady!  After hugs, kisses and snuggles, Jordan prayed over her in her room and laid her down to sleep.  A lovely end to an enjoyable evening.

Then Wednesday morning came.  I left the apartment early to get to Chapel Hill for a full day of Six Sigma training, leaving Jordan on child duty for the day.  Class was just beginning as I received the following text from Jordan:

“Um…that was disgusting.  Just imagine picking up a newly wakened child who is bawling, to find her entire nighty soaked and smelling like poop.  So I go to change her and…there’s no diaper!  Just poop and pee everywhere!  Let’s just say she just had a bath.”

I could not contain my laughter!  Poor Jordan…what a way to start the day!  Hysterical child who wakes to find herself covered in nastiness.  I chuckled as I thought that he had forgotten to put her diaper on the night before.  No wait…I got her dressed last night.  She must have taken it off.  No wait…he said there was no diaper.  There was NO diaper.  I FORGOT TO DIAPER MY OWN CHILD!!!  This fiasco was completely MY fault!!  I know I’ve been forgetful lately but really?!?!  What parent forgets to diaper their un-pottytrained child before bed?!  Or ever?!?!!!  REALLY?!?!!!!

The next hour consisted of random spurts of laughter blanketed heavily by mortification and many apology texts to Jordan.  Thankfully he had a great sense of humor about it.  Of course, I will be trying to live this down for the next decade or lifetime or so.  *sigh*  I’ve had pregnant brain before but this is ridiculous!  It is beyond humiliating but way too hilarious to keep to myself.  So if you’re ever having a forgetful day or find yourself having a pregnant moment, just smile and say, “At least I didn’t pull a Patience!”


Filed under Chapel Hill, Patience, Pregnancy

The Little Things

I find myself quite reflective these days.  Be it the start of a new year or the constant flux of pregnancy hormones, I’m in a season of taking stock over my life – past, present & hopes for the future.  Certainly there have been struggles and trials, seasons deep in the valleys of life.  But as our pastor recently said, “While we love times on the mountaintops, growth happens in the valley.”  How true!  Yes, my life has not been perfect.  No, the road has not always been paved with ease and grace.  But in surveying the paths I’ve traveled and taking in all that surrounds me in current days, I’m left with only one conclusion: I am grateful and blessed.

There are many big things I’m thankful for: Jesus, my husband, my children, family, church, our home, health, friendships.  Yet there are a multitude of little things I am absolutely grateful for as well.  Here are but a few:

After knowing him for 8 years, Jordan still gives me butterflies.  His hugs always make a crazy moment instantly fill with peace.  His music.  His ability to bring out the best in everyone around him.  Eliana’s random, unsolicited hugs and kisses.  Her laughter.  Her ability to breathe and eat and grow on her own.  White cells.  How nearly every conversation with my mom and sister somehow revolve around delicious food in some way or another.  The ability to bear children.  Warm blankets.  The Bible.  Crème brûlée.  Apple’s genius bar.  UNC Hospital’s PICU and commitment to excellence.  My brother’s creativity and stories (seriously, he has the ability to develop characters like no one else!).  Clean running water.  No matter the weekend nor the topic, every Sunday at Journey Church leaves me challenged, encouraged and changed in my walk with Christ.  Blackberry Cabernet sorbet by Ciao Bella.  Hot showers.  Jordan’s laugh.  My mom’s spunk, wisdom and example of trusting God in every circumstance.  Life Group.  Quad group.  The ability to read, write and sing.  My husband continues to love and serve me despite all my faults and failings.  Photographs.  After 5 years of marriage, Jordan and I still find ourselves laughing together daily.  How God can redeem and restore anything for His glory.  His faithfulness.  Coffee.  Scarves.  Journey’s worship team.  Relationships that inspire and challenge me.  Eliana’s awesome dance moves every time the theme song to VeggieTales plays.  A safe, working vehicle.  Snug socks.  Jordan’s humor, work ethic and wisdom.  Heat and air conditioning.  God’s provision and growth to Leino Studios.  Taste buds.  Eye sight.  Sunshine.  God’s ability to turn trials into triumphs.  2007.  2009.  Heck, every year that I’ve been given!  Life.

These are but a few of the million little things I’m thankful for.  What little things are you grateful for today?

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Filed under Patience, Thoughts

Half-Way There

Today, I am 20 weeks pregnant!  Its shocking really that this pregnancy is already half-way over.  Just a few short months ago, I was in the best shape of my married life as I ran my first half marathon.  Little did I know that as I ran those 13.1 miles, a new life was just days old and growing within me.  No wonder the nausea lasted so long after the race!  20 weeks later, my runners’ body has given way to a baby bump and maternity wear.  (Sadly, this week brought the stark realization that I can no longer fit into my normal skinnies.  *sigh*  So long, favorite jeans.  Hopefully we’ll meet again in a years’ time.)

This pregnancy has been quite different than my previous prenatal journeys.  For one, I’ve experienced nearly no nausea (thank You, Jesus!) which is a far cry from the others.  I was always on the verge of puking throughout my first two.  With nausea next to nil and migraines occurring no more than usual, this physically has been a much easier pregnancy so far.  It seems my hormones have made up for the lack of sickness though as I’ve been very emotional since day one.  Poor Jordan.  I can be laughing one moment and then uncontrollably weeping the next.  Definitely moody as well.  Jordan, you are the most patient man!  Thank you for loving me in spite of me and for finding humor in my randomness.  You are more than wonderful.

As far as memory goes, it seems the brain dies just a bit more with each pregnancy.  That’s how it feels anyways.  I’ve forgotten names of people I’ve known for years (30 minutes into talking with them!), put the cutting board away in the fridge – twice, asked Jordan the same question 5 times in a row without realizing it, and searched fervently for keys that I was holding IN MY HAND.  Goodness.  My family has certainly enjoyed much entertainment on account of my forgetfulness.  Not that it makes it any easier.  To be honest, I just feel stupid during those moments but my sweet husband never makes fun of my absent-mindedness.  Lord, seriously bless him!

Above all the changes, discomforts, quirks and emotions, this new child is a gift!  This growing life has taught me much about trusting God’s will and provision.  I’m fully aware that God is the One who ultimately places children in their mother’s wombs and that He has different journeys for different women.  To simply be pregnant is a privilege, one for which I am truly grateful.  Since learning at last week’s ultrasound that we were having a healthy baby boy, I’ve experienced waves of emotions.  A son!  We’re having a baby boy whose organs are all forming correctly!  It still brings tears to my eyes knowing we’ve been given another opportunity to love and parent a sweet boy.  While we are quite far from having a name picked out (QUITE far), I’m so eager to meet our son face-to-face in a few months’ time.  Will he have his daddy’s rich brown eyes?  Will he have red hair like his brother or bright green eyes like his grandparents?  I can hardly wait!

20 weeks down.  20 weeks to go.  Lord, thank You for growing this precious child in me thus far.  Please continue to mold him physically and even emotionally to be a strong champion for You once he’s here.  Thank you all who read our blog for your prayers on our behalf.  What a blessing.

Now I’m off to get out all of my maternity clothes as life is about to get much, much larger….


Filed under Evan, Patience, Pregnancy

Chef In The Making

One of my favorite memories as a child was cooking in the kitchen with my Mom.  Whether cookies or crepes, pasta or peanut butter sandwiches, Mom always allowed me to work beside her.  Yes, those recipes always ended up far messier than if she had done it herself and I’m sure took three times as long.  But she took advantage of every possible teaching moment.  I have her to thank for my love of cooking and adventurous palate today.


To my delight, Eliana loves to hang in the kitchen anytime I’m cooking.  So following the wonderful example from my Mom, she has become my little kitchen helper.  It’s hilarious to see her in my apron.  Her favorite things to do are practice whisking in a bowl and help pour ingredients into the mixing bowl.  She’s adorable!  During breakfast, she gets all giddy to watch us scramble eggs…and of course, eat them.  We made sugar cookies on Christmas Day.  Eliana did a great job pounding the mess out of her dough and cutting out shapes.  I’m so curious to see what type of palate she’ll develop as she grows up.  She certainly is the cutest chef in the making.


Filed under Cooking, Eliana, Family, Fun, Patience

Christmas Chaos

All month long, I’ve been pondering what this Christmas would be like.  We’d begin our own family traditions this year with Eliana, opening presents together Christmas morning while eating a delicious Christmas breakfast.  Family would come over for a scrumptious lunch and to relax together.  All gifts would be purchased and wrapped by the week before “The Big Day” to allow plenty of time for cooking, cleaning, sending cards and making gifts for neighbors and friends.  Everything thought through and prepared, it would be the first of many Leino family Christmases.

This week has not gone as planned.

Sunday began with NO Christmas gifts purchased yet.  (well, I take that back.  Jordan had bought a gift for me, but as far as my gift-getting responsibilities – nada)  Church was AMAZING!  Our pastor, Jimmy Carroll, preached a strong sermon focused solely on celebrating and exalting Jesus.  Seriously, its worth your time to watch it.

Sunday also brought the beginning of a nasty stomach bug that slowly overtook our entire family.  Poor Eliana got the bug first, followed by myself and finally taking out Jordan.  It even took out my mom and brother who live nearby.  From Sunday through Wednesday night, the Leino family was down for the count. Jordan was a CHAMP and did a bulk of the shopping before the bug sent him to bed (and as you know from earlier, this hardly EVER happens).  By Thursday morning, we were all well enough to venture out to finish the shopping, raid the grocery store and recover the apartment from its former invalid-ridden state.  Well, we hoped to do so anyway.  As of 8 o’clock tonight, the presents have all been bought and wrapped.  That’s it.  No grocery shopping done.  No prep-cooking completed.  The apartment is….better but not great.  Christmas cards will have to wait for 2011.  And I haven’t even begun to prep for our trip to the mountains on Monday.  Last week’s Corolla debacle has reduced us back to one vehicle so I’m home with my precious little girl while Jordan practices w/the Journey worship team for tomorrow’s Christmas Eve services.  In short, this week has felt more like chaos than Christmas.  Tonight has found me frazzled, overwhelmed by lack of checks on my to-do list.

Getting tired of my pity-party yet?  God certainly was.  As the evening has wound down, I’ve sensed Him wanting to bring comfort and ease into the midst of my self-imposed madness.  My heart began to still as I felt His reminder, “This season is not about your to-do list, your boeuf bourguignon, your perfectly clean apartment, your ducks standing all in a row.  Rest in knowing it’s not about all you have to do.  It’s about all I’ve already done!  Perhaps I allowed sickness to hit your family for a few days to make you slow down and simplify.  Whatever doesn’t get “done” won’t matter in the end.  What matters is Jesus came for YOU.  He died for YOU.  He rose from the grave, victorious over sin and death for YOU.  Relish in that.  Rest in that.  Remove your chaos from what Christmas is really all about: love, sacrifice, humility, My pursuit of humanity’s heart, and above all – Jesus.”

So here I sit, peace now replacing my previous frenetic state.  Lord, thank You for your continued patience with me and Your gentle calls back to Your heart.  Yes, I’ll do what I can to finish preparations for this weekend, but the task won’t drive me as it was before.  Its humbling to be this age and still finding myself in need of such a reminder.  But oh, how grateful I am He never tires in giving it.

May you be surrounded by the peace that I so desperately needed…and God so graciously gave.  May you rest in the true heart of Christmas rather than be caught up in the tempting chaos we so easily create around it.  Above all, may your heart and mind be filled in knowing Jesus came out of His limitless love for YOU.  Not you as in humanity in general, though that is true.  He laid aside His divine deity to come in human form for you specifically.  For YOU, you.

Merry Almost Christmas, everyone!  Time to get back to cleaning…


Filed under Eliana, Faith, Family, Jordan, Journey Church, Patience, Thoughts

The Crud Has Left The Building

We’ve been battling a bad case of the crud at the Leino household.  And by we I mean Eliana & Patience.  Since meeting Jordan in 2002, he’s been truly sick twice.  TWICE!  I mean really.  We eat the same foods, take the same nutritional supplements, drink lots of water, stay active.  Lucky Jordan.  Of course, I make up for us both in the under-the-weather department.  (Thank you allergies, pregnancies, migraines, etc)  Let’s just say God gave me great balance when He brought Jordan into my life.  But more on that whole balancing act another time…

Eliana went from two weeks of molars teething to bronchitis to pneumonia.  Thankfully, she’s 100% well now & completely back to her full-of-energy, curious-about-everything, talking-up-a-storm self.  Even on her sickest days, she always had a smile and a snuggle to share.  I probably sound like a broken record but it still blows me away that God would bless me with this precious, beautiful treasure of a child.  What a joy she is.

When it comes to me and health, you have to know two things: I’m big into health & nutrition, & I’m very stubborn.  I’m never one to jump at taking a pill (though I will when necessary & wise) & I’d rather try waiting out a bug to see if it improves on its own than call the doctor as soon as I’m sick.  (Though when it comes to my kids, I’m overly vigilant.  Again, another story for another day.)  I’ll push myself hard, not wanting to admit that I’m sick, until my body says “enough!” & shuts down.  Irish German first-born female perhaps?

I started dealing with a respiratory bug the week before Thanksgiving.  Once it got to the point that it was clear something was definitely wrong, I called our awesome family doctor.  He hooked me up with a 10-day antibiotic to hopefully knock out the infection.  It kept me from getting worse, but I never quite got better.  I kept waiting and waiting…”surely it will turn around today.”  Well 2.5 weeks later, my body finally got tired of me avoiding another doctor’s visit & gave out.  2 days on the couch & I got the message loud & clear.  “You’re not getting better on your own.  Would you call the doctor already?!”  (Told you I have a stubborn streak.)

After my appointment diagnosing full-blown bronchitis (complete w/a gentle but firm talking-to about not waiting it out so long next time when it comes to my breathing), he sent me home with a strong specific antibiotic & orders to rest.  Thank you, Lord, for an excellent physician for our family!  Within 24 hours, I can already tell a huge difference.  I finally slept through the night w/o coughing nor breathing issues of any kind – first time in weeks!  Of course, I’ve been kicking myself, “why didn’t you go in sooner?”  Oh well.  Thankfully I’m finally on the mend.  Soon I’ll have all my energy again & be back to being fully involved w/Jordan, Eliana & all such things in life.  Jordan has been amazing taking care of me & our family during this 3-week sick spell.  Never complaining, always serving above & beyond.  He exceeds my hopes & dreams in a husband.  Seriously!

So now its back to cleaning, cooking, blogging, singing, fully engaging w/my family, singing w/o sounding like a man, talking w/o loosing my breath, writing, growing a baby & other such wonderful things.  Here’s wishing my family & yours a healthy, happy holiday!


Filed under Patience, Random

He Saw Me

Have you ever had one of those days when your faith and trust in God is seriously challenged?  You’re normally certain in Him and rest in how He has guided you through highs and lows.  But then some days come where that assurance seems to come under fire and you weakly feel so vulnerable, desperately needing a sign that He is there…that He sees you.  Today was one of those days.

Since learning that we were pregnant again, there has been a low rumbling of fears on the outskirts of my mind.  Once you’ve had a child born with severe difficulties, you’re keenly aware that the unlikely is possible.  After all, nothing is ever guaranteed.  I’ve been able to fend off the fears and worries for the most part, but for whatever reason, today they came on like gale force winds.  Jordan and I were at Integrity’s Glorious worship conference all day.  One would think that in an environment with other Christians, fully focused on worshiping God, the day would be incredible!  But from the first song’s downbeat, a tsunami of anxiety washed over me.  It flooded my being and its waters did not recede.  Rather as the day went on, my worry moved to fear, fear opened the door to anger, anger gave way to hardness – a hardness that I could not shake.

Where was this coming from?  Why could I not break its weight?  In the past 3 years, God has healed so much of my heart that had broken after Isaac died.  His peace has enveloped me, opening my eyes to see His love and provision every step of the way.  But today, dark clouds skewed my perspective.  All I could see was the hurt, the loss, the pain.  Why was this all coming back?!

By 4 o’clock, I felt genuinely stuck.  The Integrity team began a Soaking worship session – a time for people to sit, meditate and rest as worship to God was sung over and around them.  It was to be a time of reflection and peace.  But there I sat: stuck and not knowing how to move.  “Lord, I’m angry.  I’m afraid.  And I feel like You are a million miles away right now.  Why did you not heal my son?  Why did you let him die?  You’re going to have to do something.  I know all the right things to do and say in the midst of this, but frankly, I just don’t want to!  If You really care, You’re going to have to make the first move.”  Man, I was in a dark place.

Over the course of the next hour, Kathryn Scott and Brian Doerksen sang beautiful songs of brokenness, surrender and the majestic love of God who hears and heals.  Tears kept flooding my eyes as I felt caught between the two worlds – the reality of how I felt and the reality of who God is.  “Lord, You’re going to have to make the first move.  I can’t and I won’t.”  As the session drew to a close, I just wanted to leave.  I was so weary from the day’s weight and could not see a reprieve in sight.  I simply wanted to run away and hide.

And that’s when it happened.  A stranger walked up to Jordan and I, smiling sweetly.  This young woman reached out her hands to shake ours.  “Hello, I’m Jenna.  You don’t know me.  I followed your journey with Isaac and recognized you from a picture on your blog.  Ever since I saw you earlier this morning, I just had to come meet you both and let you know that you are being prayed for.  I prayed for you all while Isaac was here and I’ve been praying for you ever since.”  And with another smile, this precious stranger walked away.

As she turned to leave, I crumbled to a pile of sobbing cries at Jordan’s side.  I could not contain my tears!  In that moment, God spoke clearly and gently to my heart.  “I see you.  I’m with you.  I will not let you go.”  In the depths of my anger and wallowing self-pity, the almighty God of the universe reached out again just to let me know that He saw me.  He had already shown me time and again of His love, His grace, His provision.  But in my fallen, broken state – needing yet another reminder of what I already should have fully known – God moved on my behalf to show His care for me.  He did not judge or condemn my weakness but rather met me in it.  The King of the universe stooped down low to lift my head.  He saw me as I was and loved me in the midst.

Lord, Your love endures forever.  You are slow to anger and greatly abounding in love.  Though I fall a thousand times, a thousand times more You will pick me up again.  I don’t deserve it.  I’m overwhelmed by it.  Thank You for seeing me and for taking the first step to bring Light into my darkness.  Where would I be without You?  While I don’t know what the future holds, I know You will always be there with me.  I love you, Lord.


Filed under Faith, God, Isaac, Patience, Struggles, Thoughts

Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon

Labor Day Week was absolutely incredible!  Three days with some amazing, inspiring women (and one spouse) for lots of laughter, great food, and new memories as six of us ran the Virginia Beach Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon.  The weekend exceeded all my expectations and is one that I will never forget.

I’m so thankful God crossed my path with these incredible women.  While He has moved us each into different seasons of life (and most several hours away), He gave me an invaluable gift in knowing each one of them.  The weekend just magnified to me how precious each of them are and how truly blessed I am to know them.  Over the three days in VA Beach, we did what girls do best and talked ourselves silly about everything and anything!  Parenting, marriage, fitness, Bible study, home schooling, food, fashion, running, struggles, aging, cooking, labor, cleaning, church, hormones….you name it, we covered it.  But no matter the topic of conversation, God spoke encouragement and inspiration into me through each beautiful woman there.  I found myself challenged in every area of life to pursue God and reflect Him more.  The wisdom that so effortlessly flowed out of my humble friends impacted me in ways that words will fail to describe.  These beautiful ladies all left an indelible mark on my life that weekend, one that has made me a better mother, a better wife, a better woman.

The race itself was amazing!  It was my first half marathon and it certainly won’t be my last.  The experience of running towards a common goal alongside 15,000 other people was exhilarating!  From the gun shot start to the final stretch on the boardwalk, I ran better than I ever thought I could.  Only stopping for the restroom, I kept my running pace the entire time.  Several times, I passed teams running in memory of a child or on behalf of a special needs kid…those moments just about broke me as tears flooded my eyes.  What a beautiful way to carry on on behalf of those who cannot.  Even thinking of it now gets me misty.  During that last stretch on the coast, the toll of the whole race started sinking in and I had to dig deep to finish strong.  As soon as my feet crossed the finish line, emotion flooded me like a tsunami.  I actually did it!  I finished what I set out to do!  All I could do was utter thanks to God for carrying me through, the physical and all the mental hurdles of training and the race itself.

What a weekend!  I can’t wait to run my next half.  Hopefully it will whip my then post-baby-#3 body back into shape. 🙂  Here are some pics of the weekend. (courtesy of the fabulous Rebekah King)

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Filed under Friends, Patience, Running, Thoughts


Well, I’ve gone and done it.  I’ve officially signed up for my first half marathon!  How am I feeling?  At the moment – crazy!  It took me 15 minutes to press the “submit & checkout” button.  Running 13.1 miles straight?  And paying to do it?  What am I thinking?!  Craziness!!  But I know in the end, it will totally be worth it.  Some of my dearest girlfriends and I are going to be running together in the race this fall.  Currently, I’m running about 3 miles at a time.  Good for starters but I have a loooooooooong way to go.  So here’s to lots of sweat, aching muscles, and a huge sense of accomplishment.  Let the training begin!


Filed under Patience, Running

Fun Fact Friday

– Nutella Banana Crepes are calling my name.  Don’t they sound delicious?!

– My 10 yr High School Reunion is next month in Annapolis.  I’m stoked!  (and way to young for a 10 yr H.S. Reunion to be here already) 🙂

– Still will never, ever eat a Red Packer hot dog.  Nope.

– SYTYCD is back on!!!  (its a fav)

– I’ve always been a milk chocolate fan.  But ever since I was pregnant with Eliana, I can’t stand it.  Now its dark chocolate all the way!  Strange, huh?

– As far as female song writers are concerned, I think Mia Fields, Brooke Fraser, Christy Nockels, and Nichole Nordemon are fantabulous.

– Sorbet of choice: Ciao Bella’s Blackberry Cabernet

– Today is going to be great!  Happy Friday, everyone!


Filed under Fun, Patience

Beauty For Ashes

This past Sunday, I had the privilege of speaking to Plymouth Church in Raleigh.  What an honor to spend the morning with them!  In preparing for the message, God laid Isaiah 61.1a & 3 on my heart, particularly the phrase “beauty for ashes”.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me…to provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”

God has certainly been faithful to provide beauty in place of ashes in my life, to take my mourning and put gladness in its place.  It was humbling to share a bit of our journey with Isaac and a joy to testify to God’s faithfulness in that situation.  He certainly has brought forth great beauty out of a difficult season.

His Word is so clear – God is able and desiring to work all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8.28).  As the song goes: “He gives beauty for ashes, strength for fears, gladness for mourning, peace for despair.”  My prayer is that it will bless you, that the Bible would speak for itself, and God would draw you to trust Him further with any areas of your life that have been reduced to ashes.  He has beauty in mind.

Click here to hear Sunday’s message.


Filed under Patience, Thoughts

Speaking Engagements

Most of you following our blog know that Patience writes most of the posts here.  The reason is obvious, she has a gift for writing and a way with words that is God-given.  God has spoken through her writings and has impacted many lives as a result.

It seems lately that God has been opening up doors for her to not only write, but also to speak.  A couple months ago she was asked to be an advisor to the Improving Pediatric Critical Care Program at UNC Children’s Hospital.  It’s a board of doctors, nurses, administrators, and a couple advisors (Patience being one of them) that speak into the process of improving communication, education, and overall care of the patients and their families while in their stay at the hospital.  It has been so awesome to have the opportunity to support and be a part of the place that took such great care of our son Isaac in 2007, and we look forward to seeing what opportunities come out of this ongoing relationship.

Last Friday (February 19) she spoke at the UNC Dance Marathon to over 1,700 college students who were there helping raise money towards grants that would help patients and families in intensive care at the UNC Children’s Hospital.  The event raised over $421,000 for the hospital!  I was proud of not only the way she shared our story and the mission of that department (the one I mentioned above), but the way she captivated the audience.  I love watching God use her so powerfully.

(click on the images to enlarge)

Tomorrow morning (Sunday, February 28) at 11:00am, Patience will be giving the sermon at Plymouth Church in Raleigh.  She will be sharing a little bit of our story, but will be mostly sharing a message that’s on her heart, based out of the scripture Isaiah 61:1-3.  Good stuff!

It’s so fun to watch God open up doors for her and use her so powerfully. I’m an extremely proud husband and look forward to what God has for her and for us in the future.  God is good!


Filed under Chapel Hill, Patience, Updates