Browsing Category:


March 19, 2018

Where I End (A Book Review)

I am a member of Moody Publishers’ blogger review program in which I receive free copies of certain book titles in exchange for sharing my honest reviews. Below is my review of the book Where I End: A Story of Tragedy, Truth, and Rebellious Hope by Katherine Elizabeth Clark. 

I am drawn to true stories of suffering and hope, which is why after immediately upon stumbling across this book title, I knew I wanted to read it. Where I End: A Story of Tragedy, Truth, and Rebellious Hope by Katherine Elizabeth Clark (who goes by Kate throughout the book) is a beautifully written and beautifully honest memoir that chronicles her story of suffering when a freak accident at a playground leaves her paralyzed from the neck down and reveals her story of hope through the journey and miracles she experiences thereafter.  Read more

March 11, 2018

Wandering in the Wilderness

I can’t stop thinking about the wilderness.

My current season feels like I’m wandering alone in the wilderness – a place that is marked by darkness, loneliness, confusion, and vulnerability.

At times I feel weak and exposed like a small animal that’s being hunted by a pack of predators that lurk in the shadows with glowing eyes waiting for their chance to pounce and attack.

As I wander in this place, fear tries to grip its cold, unrelenting hands around my heart.

Will I ever find my way out of this wilderness? How long must I wander here?

Hopelessness once again tries to lure me toward it, but the Holy Spirit calls Isaiah 43:19 to my mind and speaks back: “I will make a way in the wilderness.”

Like one struggling to breathe, I cling onto these words like they’re my oxygen mask. Where I see no way, He promises a way.

I don’t miss the fact that my time of wandering in the wilderness coincides with this Lenten season where we remember the time Jesus spent alone in the wilderness. Also during this time I’m reading Brene Brown’s latest book, Braving the Wilderness. And so I think of the wilderness in all of these ways, and it’s as though they’re doing a beautiful yet cryptic waltz together in my mind.

There’s something here God wants me to see. Read more

February 27, 2018

What I Learned This Winter

I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman to reflect back on and share what we’ve learned at the end of each season. This has become a wonderful practice that’s helped me reflect, process, grow, and transition into the next season.

As someone who is a self-proclaimed slow-processor and suffers from a forgetful mind/ spiritual amnesia, this has become such a blessing to me each season.

Here are 10 things that I learned this winter – some deep, some spiritual, some fun, and some seemingly insignificant, but somethings I learned nonetheless. Please leave me a comment sharing something you learned this winter!

Read more

February 6, 2018

Love Unexpected: My One Word for 2018

It was 2 o’clock in the morning and in one sudden unexpected moment my world changed.

If you watched the episode of This Is Us that aired after the Super Bowl, you might have heard the character Randall describe an unexpected life-altering event as a lightning strike. The writers’ raw and beautiful analogy articulates this experience well. Here is what Randall said:

“When you lose someone suddenly, and unexpectedly, it hurts differently… Boom, boom, like a lightning strike. That’s what unexpected loss is like. It’s like a lightning bolt you can’t even see reaching inside of you and tearing out your guts.”

Eight years ago, the lightning bolt that struck me was the death of my baby girl, and then another bolt struck shortly after when my father died. I’ve spent 8 years processing and healing from that lightning storm.

But this time the 2AM lightning strike was not the unexpected discovery of someone’s death even though it could in every way be categorized as a type of loss and grief.

Like with any lightning strike that appears out of nowhere and dramatically alters our lives, it felt as though the bolt made direct contact with my heart when it struck; that it had destroyed my heart in an explosion of pain.

Ironically, like with the first strikes, this lightning bolt ushering in a new season of suffering came immediately after a season of giving thanks. Also ironically perhaps, right before this latest strike occurred, I had just written and shared about the revelation that I sort of have PTSD when it comes to giving thanks as a result of these losses that had immediately followed eight years ago (you can read more in this post here).

This was the first year after eight years that I was able to confront my PTSD head on and return to my gratitude journal and count my gifts. And then, just like eight years ago, a lightning strike, and my world fell apart again immediately after. I couldn’t believe it.

And then came the inevitable question spoken through the agonizing heartache and flow of hot tears, Why God?

What I discovered, or rather what God revealed, in the days following this most recent lightning strike of unexpected pain was that when life thrust me into this pit of darkness, He was going to rip off a blindfold, and I would see Him begin to use this shocking pain for good quite immediately.

God used the emotional pain I was in to reveal a deeper rooted pain – a pain that it turns out I had been unknowingly causing myself for too long. Read more

December 7, 2017

Braving Sorrow Together (A Book Review)

I am a member of Moody Publishers blogger review program in which I receive free copies of certain titles in exchange for my honest reviews. Below is my review of the book Braving Sorrow Together: The Transformative Power of Faith and Community When Life is Hard by Ashleigh Slater. As always, I promise to only share books and other products I think will be meaningful to my readers. 

Braving Sorrow Together by Ashleigh Slater is a short non-fiction book written for those who are grieving any type of loss in life (control, relationships, home, jobs, dreams, health, life) and for those who are walking along side of someone who is experiencing sorrow and loss.

The book weaves together the author’s commentary on her own personal losses throughout her life, how she walked through and braved them, along with the stories of others’ to demonstrate and encourage us of what braving the sorrow together sometimes looks like as well as references to various sorrows we see in the Bible and the lessons they offer us.

The greatest takeaway from Braving Sorrow Together will be realizing you’re not alone in your sorrow or loss as well as gaining some insights and tips for how it is possible to brave the sorrows of life — and learning that it’s better when we do it together.

The author does an excellent job of clearly organizing the book’s subject matter so that it is easy to read and gives each type of loss its own chapter. For me personally, I think this book would be best to have on hand as a resource when needed and to be read topically, rather than straight through. The straight through read for me became a touch overwhelming.

For instance, if your spouse is walking through job loss, I would recommend you read that chapter so you can be equipped for ways to brave the sorrow with him/her. If you’re experiencing the loss of a loved one, then I recommend you focus on that chapter and find encouragement that you’re not alone and how community can help carry your sorrow.

Ultimately this book is a good reference of encouragement for walking through loss, but it left me longing for more of the “why and how of community,” which was included as an appendix at the end. Based on the title and subtitle, I felt this would have been emphasized more throughout the book or perhaps included to as an introduction to begin the book.

I must say a thank you to the author, Ashleigh Slater, for touching on the different types of losses that result in sorrow in our lives and encouraging the rest of us to engage in community in the midst of grief. Thank you for opening up the fragile places of your own story and the losses you’ve experienced and demonstrating what bravery looks like.

“Because, just as there is nothing greater God can give us than Himself, there’s nothing greater we can give others than our willingness to brave their sorrow with them.



You can find this review and my rating on my Goodreads account here.

If you’re interested in receiving future book reviews and blog posts related to finding encouragement and hope in the midst of sorrows and struggles, make sure you become an email subscriber.