Throughout most every season of my life, people have told me I’m “kind of a private person.”
I have never, ever understood that.
I am a reflective person, and someone who chooses words carefully. And I’ve always enjoyed candidly sharing my real stories and my real self.
Even as a child and young adult I liked to write to make sense of my own thoughts. In my adult life I came to love writing as a way to catalog my children’s funny stories into a memory book. Now, that urge to write has transformed into the desire to put a little good back into the world out of gratitude for the breath still in my lungs, in spite of all we’ve been through. I want to continue to learn through the rest of the adventures still in store for me and our little family.
The calm and the storm
I was raised in a loving home and in the church with a beautiful understanding of a faithful walk with Jesus. As a young adult I quickly realized that faith is easy when the waters are still. It’s when the storm winds start blowing that your understanding of true faith changes. After marrying Jack at twenty-one years old, both teachers, our first adventure as parents began with a miracle baby who was born fourteen weeks early and lived for just seventeen days. Losing LJ – and the slow landslide it began in my life – changed my mind and heart forever towards God. I found that in grief most people either turn away from their faith in anger, or hold on for dear life. I clung to the only One I knew would never fail me. But Jack turned away.
Our growing family
Through LJ’s story, our daughter Grace came to us through adoption just two short months later. She’s light, and life, and teaches me every day. Our son Jackson was born just over a year after that, a living, breathing reminder that God’s plan for us is greater than we could ever imagine. Along the way, we navigated two career changes, started two new businesses, raised two children under two, and undertook two moves – and our marriage was suffering. We ran ourselves into the ground with poor communication, lots of unkind behavior, absolutely no true emotional or spiritual support of one another, and schedules jam-packed with no time for rest.
The tipping point
With that final move into our beautiful new home, it all fell apart. We had each hurt the other with the deepest cuts. There were days when the only thing that held us together was a set of construction paper pictures our children had drawn and taped to the wall. When you’re drowning, you can’t be saved until you stop flailing. So we did. We gave up the fight against each other and learned how to fight FOR each other. Restoration is long and hard and so painful but it is possible. Jack found a true relationship with Jesus. Hearts softened and we slogged through the beginnings of grace and forgiveness, mercy and kindness.
Beauty from ashes
Close to nine months later, we shared new marriage vows in our home with our children and families, and we’re working hard every day to live our life in gratitude, humility, service, presence, and trust in God’s divine plan for our family. We welcomed a new baby, Elisha, whose name represents the double portion of blessings he’s brought to our home. He’s blonde and hilarious, and we’re all crazy about him. And then came Aubrianne, whose laugh is infectious and her kisses never run out.
What makes me tick
I’m inspired by people – their stories, their passions, their unique gifts. I love to read, write, cook, soak up Texas sunshine, work with amazing people, and run my own small business right from my home. And the perspective my children have on the world makes me readjust my thinking every single day. After navigating the death of a child, a surprise adoption, young family life, double entrepreneurship, and a reconciled marriage, I firmly believe you can choose to see life in any lens. In our family we choose the lenses of presence and love. They’ve given us the clearest vision we’ve ever found.
Our day starts with coffee and a family snuggle. And then the hilarity of raising small children and running small businesses ensues. Our families all live and work right here in the same not-so-little town and we feel so blessed. We’re real, we’re messy, and we do our best to love each other well through all of it. I love reading, cooking, running (slowly), and any excuse to get outside in the sunshine. To learn a little more about our family, and our story, check out the posts Breaking Plates (a story about grief), Adoption Surprises (our unexpected adoption journey) and Marriage Recovery: 10 Things We Learned. And to get to know us even better, come join the party on Instagram @heartfullypresent or on Facebook at Heartfully Present.
What you’ll find here
At Heartfully Present, you’ll find humble real life, true stories, and insight for cultivating a more present, richly-connected life filled with the people and priorities that matter most. Life is too short to clutter it up with anything else. I’m no life expert. I’ve just collected some wild experiences to share.
I’m glad you found this place. It’s my honor that you’re here.
Heartfully Present (HP),