Archive | parenting

The Sanitized Stories We Tell


In the early days of a pregnancy, I went to see the midwife every month. Then it became every two weeks. Then, it began to feel as if I saw my midwife more often than I picked up my mail. We would go through the usual routine: blood pressure (always low), heart rate (always low), measure the size of my baby bump (always jaw-droopingly huge). For my last baby, I went to a new midwife and midwifery practice for me. My former practice closed up shop and moved to Chilliwack a few years ago so I started from scratch here. One of the reasons why I love midwifery is that instead of walking in and checking off tick-boxes, I have found that midwives typically (not always! I know a lot of wonderful OBGYNs who are very woman-centric, too) focus just as much on my emotional and spiritual state as on my physical state, believing that all of the aspects of my life are deeply connected to birth and health. I’ve found pregnancy and giving birth to be my greatest metaphor, absolutely, too. I can’t separate my spirit from my body particularly during such a mighty time of life.

Near the end of my pregnancy, I confessed to her that I hadn’t been sleeping well. It wasn’t just the typical have-to-pee-every-hour stuff (although that’s very real, people). And it was more than the bout of sickness we had had here for the past few weeks. I was run off my feet with sick kids and a sick husband, culminating in my own punishing chest cold. Yes, I was up coughing but that wasn’t it, either.

Really, it was the dreaming.

I have vivid dreams at the best of times. I don’t know if it’s the INFJ thing or a spirit-gift thing but I’ve often had a weird dream connection to my spirit and even, I would argue, to the Holy Spirit. I’ve often experienced almost a sense of the prophetic in dreams – for my self, for my husband, for our children, even for my sister on occasion. It seems to be a place where I meet God or work through life for some weird reason. So I know enough by now to pay attention to my dreams. And in the last weeks of my last pregnancy, my dreams became oddly consuming and consistent.

I would dream in vivid detail of my actual self in my actual life. I even dreamed the same pajamas that I was wearing at that moment. And in my dream, I woke up to find that I had either given birth to the baby in my sleep or – more frequently – that I was about to give birth. In the dream, I would wake up out of my sleep and feel the baby just seconds from being born. And then I would feel an absolute tidal wave of grief and fear and anxiety, a profound sense of aloneness in such a key moment of my life. Then I would wake up. And inevitably, when I woke up, I would have a hard time distinguishing between the real and the dream. It would take me a few panicked moments to realize that it was a dream, that it wasn’t actually happening.  And I would have this dream all night, every night, for weeks. I repeatedly woke up, panicked that I was having the baby alone. I went to bed every night in dread of it.

So I told my midwife about my dreams. I told her in the way that I always tell things that alarm me: I joked about it. I don’t know if I’m the only person who does this, but I have some weird affliction that makes me downplay or self-deprecate my own fears or needs. I joke about them in an attempt to disarm them, perhaps, to downplay my hurts or my fears or even my grief. So I told her about my dream and then tried to crack a few jokes at my own expense, “oh, can you even imagine that happening?” and “as if I need another reason for disrupted sleep!”

Har har har.

I think this is one of the reasons why I love midwives, they have a finely tuned bullshit detector and aren’t afraid to call me on it. They see right through my “it’s not so bad” and “ha ha” and “it’s not a big deal” words to my spirit somehow. And so without missing a beat, without even cracking a smile at my lame attempts to disarm my own fear, Carolyn looked me right in the eye and said, “Sarah. Have you ever dealt with the trauma of your son’s birth?”

And just like that, I couldn’t breathe.

I started to cry. I hadn’t even said it out loud and she knew somehow exactly what these dreams were about: they were about my birth experience with our son.

At the time, it had been six years since I had an unattended, unintended free birth. That basically means that I went into labour, the baby came too quickly, and we were left in our building’s parking garage having a big baby by ourselves. It’s a story I have told a million times, usually for a laugh. I use it as an ice-breaking anecdote at women’s retreats, I wrote about it on my blog, I use it as a sermon illustration when I preach at Christmas: I have all my jokes down pat. I tell people about how I hung onto a cement pole and hollered at my husband that the baby was going to FALL OUT. I tell them about the crowd of strangers standing around us, calling 911 on their mobile phones. I crack a joke about how I’m so glad that this happened before the days of smart phones, otherwise it would have been all over Buzzfeed before the placenta was delivered. I tell them about the guy who walked out in the middle of it all, took in the scene, and said “I think I’m going to take the bus!” before beating a hasty retreat. I tell them about standing up with my husband’s arms under my arms, a total stranger kneeling at my feet to make sure that the baby didn’t hit the cement floor, and how I delivered that nearly 9 lbs baby boy into my own hands. I tell them about the fire trucks and the ambulance, I joke about how my mother’s nerves will never recover, I always get a laugh when I tell everyone about how I was whisked away in an ambulance with our baby and Brian was left standing alone in the parking lot wondering what in the hell just happened. He went into shock and just mechanically started cleaning the floors instead of following us. A guy wandered out into the parking lot, took in all of the blood all over the floor, and freaked out, thinking someone had gotten shot. Meanwhile, I went to triage at the hospital to be stitched up by an over-tired ER doctor whose stitching consigned me to a year of recovery from that experience.

Oh, I’ve got all the jokes for that birth experience. Har har har.

My mother has often broached the subject with me, wondering if I was as upset by that experience as she was. But she underestimates my ability to compartmentalize. I can compartmentalize like it’s my spiritual gift. I’m even better at compartmentalizing than I am at being passive-aggressive, and that is saying something.

No, I have not dealt with that trauma, Carolyn. I do not feel like I am allowed to be traumatized: it turned out fine. Look! See! A healthy baby! Everything is fine! I’m fine! He’s fine! We’re all fine! Let’s move on! It ended well and so let’s not make a fuss about it. Let’s carry on.

But six years later, I was reliving that moment of feeling so completely out of control, so afraid, so alone, so unprepared, so exposed over and over and over again in my dreams because I refused to feel it in my awake life.

If we don’t deal with our trauma, our trauma begins to deal with us. If we don’t allow ourselves to feel our feelings, they have a habit of peeking around the corners of our lives, breaking in at the most inopportune moments. And like most damage we experience – whether it was inflicted on us by another or by ourselves or just because this is life and, as Wesley said, life is suffering princess, it’s almost always rooted in our fears but it manifests for each of us different – rage, anger, self-harm, self-neglect, frenzy, numbing, whatever.

I didn’t need tips on how to sleep better. I needed to deal with the root of my sleeping problems and that was unresolved trauma about birth.

As soon as she asked that gentle question, her pen down in her lap, her eyes straight on me, I knew that she had sliced right through to the issue. I had not dealt with my fears and trauma from my son’s birth. And so my spirit or subconscious or whatever you want to call it was going to keep tapping me resolutely on the shoulder until I finally did so.

I feel like we give out gold stars to people who get over things quickly. And like any former evangelical over-achiever I wanted my gold star. We want people to heal on a timeline. Yes, yes, that’s terrible but aren’t you over it yet?

It makes me wonder how much of my trauma or sin or grief or devastation I have not dealt with yet. I wonder about my miscarriages. I wonder about my damaged body image from years of trying to earn approval for my uncooperative body. I wonder about this season of my life now – am I dealing well with this new season? With the death of a few dreams? With my new reoriented path? Or am I just shoving it away away away from myself, tucking it in my secret room, refusing to deal with it. My trauma is my own, you have yours, we each have it.

And sometimes we judge or rank our sorrows, I know I do, I feel I don’t get to be sad when other people are sadder for better reasons. I stack my sorrows up against the sufferings of others and think that because I don’t have it as bad as someone else  that I don’t get to grieve, I don’t get to talk about it, I don’t get to deal with it. So because I survived that birth and because Joseph miraculously survived that birth experience, I have to be over it. Now.

And I was not over it, not really. It had just taken me six years to admit it.

Carolyn took the time that day to walk me through my memories: the sad and scary ones. Instead of my anecdotes and one-liners, my jocular “it’s all fine now” version, she let me tell the other side of it. How I was angry. How I was afraid. How I bitterly regretted leaving our apartment, how I blamed everyone else for that decision – we lived only five minutes from the hospital and everyone was desperate to get me to the People Who Knew What To Do. How I put my hands between my legs and felt the perfect dome of my son’s head there and knew that this was happening. How I felt so wildly out of control and afraid. How it felt to have strangers watching me as I squatted and exposed myself and blood ran down my legs. How it felt to be cold and how it smelled like gasoline and cement, how I tore so horribly because there was no midwife there to easily guide the baby safely out of me. How much I missed my husband at the hospital and how we couldn’t find him, not knowing he’d gone into shock at the parkade and was blindly trying to clean up the mess we had made of the floor there. How I resented the ER triage doctor for butchering my stitches so thoroughly.  And how I couldn’t stop thinking “what if what if what if” as I nursed that wee boy in the hospital that night. What if he’d needed oxygen. What if I had dropped him. What if he had been hurt. What if I haemorrhaged. What if what if what if. I could never have forgiven myself if he had been hurt. Never.

I had never told my dark side. I had never admitted to the terror and the pain and the humiliation of that experience. I had prepackaged it for consumption, leaving out the very darkness that gave the light its beauty.

I had turned my son’s birth story into an anecdote and in so doing, I had lessened the power of our experience.

It is a glorious and weird story, yes, but it’s also a dark story to me, filled with regret and fear as well as laughter and resolution.

It makes me wonder how much pressure we feel to sanitize our stories so that they don’t make people uncomfortable, how we anecdote our experience with the lightness or the healing or birth or new life alone in order to make it acceptable. We simplify and sanitize and so we miss the healing we could have if we only spoke the whole truth.

We then talked about what would be different this time around. Now if, heaven forbid, that happened again, what would be different? We crafted a detailed contingency plan – a plan we ended up needing to use as even Maggie’s birth did not go “as planned” either. And so we go, disarming the fear with honesty, with empathy, with letting ourselves admit that its not okay and we need help to become okay, and then by empowering ourselves.

I left her office that afternoon feeling cleansed.

And that night, I went to bed and I slept. I slept and slept. I slept like I hadn’t slept in months, easily and lightly and dreamlessly.

image by Sharalee Prang Photography

Continue Reading · fearless, giving birth, Hold Fast, journey, parenting · 181

Waking Up Together

waking up :: sarah bessey

Our littlest baby started her night life, sleeping right beside our bed in the same white bassinette as her brother and sisters and cousins. But now she is four months old and, like all Bessey babies, she’s a tall girl plus she rolls over like it’s her job so we moved her white crib into our room.

She goes to sleep for the night at about 7 o’clock in that crib. I’m a softie of a mum in many regards but I hold the line on a few things: sleep and routine being the two biggest, I think. So she nurses in bed with me and then I lay her down in her crib where she sleeps steady until the middle of the night. A few times she’s slept right through the night and I sing hallelujah. Usually though, I can hear her stirring before she even fully wakes up sometimes and, while nearly asleep myself, I rise from our bed and move to her, settling her back to sleep. If the soother won’t do, I lift her out of bed and bring her into our warm bed to nurse. I find sleeping with babies more intuitive and restful than fighting to keep a lonely baby in her own crib all night long. I need my sleep, too.

Inevitably, we will fall asleep together in my bed during the wee hours and then in the morning, we will wake up together.

This might be my favourite moment of the day. If she wakes first, she never cries, she lays there quietly watching my face and then she begins to paw at me with her not-yet-coordinated hands, reaching for me in her own way. Her firm little body is chubby and warm, zipped into her little sleeper.  I feel the light scratches and pushes but when my eyes blearily open and I look right at her, she breaks into the wide open smile of a happy baby, all baby gums and delight and squeals.

It’s a good way to start the day, to make someone so happy just by being awake and paying attention.

I want to laugh out loud at the sight of her grinning up at me. It almost makes up for the 5:30 a.m. wake-up call. (Almost.)

Our life is pretty full here. Throughout the day, Maggie Love is just along for the ride and that’s as it should be. The big kids adore her but they are busy and loud and demanding, too. She is woken up from naps more than I would like, the doors are slamming as everyone is in-and-out-and-in-and-out with the summertime ease. I work from home and so often she sits in her swing or plays on her little baby-mat while I cram in a few minutes of work here and there.

But at night, we sleep together and then we wake up together.

This is our time. While the rest of the house sleeps, we are breathing each other in.

My attention might be fractured during the day but we do find our moments – thanks to nursing, babywearing, or if we go visit my parents and then my mother sits and holds her for her late afternoon nap, patting her bum in the rhythm that has been passed down through the ages while rocking slowly. The night is the most sacred: the way our bodies fit together, I curl around her, she presses into me, her little tummy is full, we breathe together and rest at last.

We’re well-practiced by now, my husband and me, at this and now we know how quickly it goes, how soon they grow up and sleep in their own little beds and the earth continues to spin us around the sun. The babies who used to sleep in our beds are nearly nine and nearly seven and four. We will blink again and it will be first jobs and first dates.

So he always says that it’s one of the favourite sights of his life, the sight of the little babies we’ve made pressed against me in the morning, laying in white cotton sheets, my shirt all askew, and he wraps his arms around us both. The day will launch ahead quickly – he’s off to work, the tinies will tumble into the day, and away we all go.

We had thought we were done with this stage of life, so we are savouring every moment of the last little baby together. Store it up, we say, carry it in your heart. This will have to last us a lifetime. Someday our bed will be empty again at the right time, it will be just us two. I imagine us, grey and wrinkled, and he will say “do you know what the favourite sight of my life was?” and I will know the answer.

But for another little while, this is what it feels like to sleep with your sweet littlest babe, this is what it feels like to wake up to your own life, this is what it feels like to be in love.

photo by Sharalee Prang

Continue Reading · Maggie Love, parenting · 23

What’s your motivation?

what is your motivation? :: sarah bessey

Rewind 20 years or so – here is the quickest way to make me roll my eyes so hard they nearly fall out of my teenaged head: “What’s your motivation?”

This is the question that my parents asked us repeatedly when we were children and particularly when we were teenagers and young adults, learning to make our own decisions. If I was shirking responsibility, if I was allowing other things to take the place of studying, if I was ditching a friend, if we were disrespectful, if I was filling my mind and heart with things that they felt didn’t lined up with my values, whatever – instead of laying down the law and “because I said so!”-ing us, they opened the conversation with that one question. “What’s your motivation for that?”

And then, well, crap. Because now I had some responsibility for the decisions I was making, for the life I was leading. I had to explain myself and my reasons. Sometimes they were legit and once they understood why I was doing what I was doing, they were content to let me get on with it. Other times, that question illuminated my own heart to me and it caused me to make a change.

Even though my sister and I made fun of it, claimed to hate it, made it the butt of our jokes, or denied any motivation whatsoever at times, I’m not at all surprised that I now find myself asking myself often: “What’s your motivation?”


Motivation is a tricky thing. We can’t really assign it to one another, we never truly know what motivates someone else. We can’t truly understand each other’s reasons for doing what we do.

A good thing done with shoddy motivation is still a good thing after all; an imperfect thing done with a pure heart is often still worthy of censure.

Often our motives are mixed to our own selves. So of course motivation is opaque to a world that judges solely on results, a world that often values big more than small, loud over quiet, pretty over plain, big numbers over slow growth.

When Samuel sought out a king for Israel, God cautioned him in this way: Man looks on the outward appearance: God looks at the heart.


This question exposes my motives often – if I’m actually willing to be honest with myself. There’s the tricky part, right? We deceive our own selves just as much as we deceive one another sometimes.


I find myself asking this question a lot as we raise our children. I ask it of our tinies, absolutely. Because like my own parents, I want them to learn how to examine their lives, their hearts.

I am wary of children whose behaviour is immaculate but whose hearts are unknown to them – or to me. I want them to learn how to challenge their own selves instead of relying on outsiders to do that holy work. I want them to hold up their hearts and minds to the light of Scripture and the ways of our Jesus and then ask their own questions of themselves. Only they can answer as to their motives: I can only help them get in the practice of asking.

But I also ask it of myself as I parent them: am I motivated by what is best for them, for their hearts and minds and lives particularly for the long game?

You’d be surprised how often I wrestle with parenting for an unseen and non-existent audience of people judging how I parent, how often I can be deceived into feeling like their goodness will somehow make me good. Am I requiring this or that behaviour because it’s actually best for them? or because its best for me?


I think the Church as a whole would be better off if we asked ourselves a bit more about our motives. And if we were honest about them.

Imagine that.


I think there is truth, I do. I don’t think that having a “good motivation” somehow wipes away sin or deception or evil, never ever. Any kind of abuse or wrong-doing is still abhorrent. Claiming “I never meant to hurt anyone” means nothing or “my motives were pure” will not erase consequences.

It’s just that besides that obviousness, I think there is a lot more wiggle room in the faith than we realise. There isn’t one way to pray, one way to worship, one way to encounter God. There isn’t one way to raise good kids or one way to dress or one way to sing or one way to help the world or to work.

I have friends who do this faith-Jesus-church thing very differently than me. I know that they love me even though I jump their fence sometimes with my opinions, my ideas, my beliefs. They give me the benefit of knowing that I love Jesus and if I’m wrong, well, if I keep chasing after Jesus and they do the same, you’d be surprised how often we end up calling it all good.


Make room in your life for the ones who do things in a way you would consider “wrong” or even just differently. Their motivation before God may be pure as snow, as the night sky, as a mountain waterfall. And God is pleased with their heart. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that freedom? Oh, what a relief. To the pure all things are pure.


I am not someone who believes that God has a blueprint for our lives. I think there is freedom and choice for us – this is the great gift and the great difficulty. And so whatever way we go, God is breathing in the path, love will redeem. There is wide open space in our lives and the answers we seek often aren’t “right” or “wrong” but instead, what is wise and what feels like the best choice and where is God leading me? If our motives are to love God and to love people, to not seek our own interests, then the path is wide open. Go with God.

So this way of thinking, this question, has become another way for me to feel my way through the sometimes twilight of this life. A guide perhaps even if it is not the final destination.


I think it’s a question we don’t ask of ourselves enough, we don’t examine our motives. Our fears hide within our motives, our insecurities and our hidden desires. Those aren’t necessarily wrong things, not at all. But isn’t it better to know? Isn’t it better to admit it? I want this because I am scared or because I feel unseen or because I feel neglected or because I want friends or because I want to feel important.


A minor and unimportant case in point: I wrote this post and I originally titled it in a regular sort of way, as I usually do. (I may have finally retired “In which…” as a title prefix but I still write rather boring titles, I think we can all admit that.) So I thought, well, I should try to get better at titling!

How about… “The One Question You Need To Be Asking”?

“This One Simple Question Will Change! Your! Life!!!!”


Sure, why not, right?  It feels a bit disingenuous but whatever, right? This is blogging, this is what we do! #ClickBait

What’s your motivation for that sort of a title? because I want people to read it. I want people to click on the post. I want to be popular and well-read and well-liked. I want to be noticed and have a lot of shares on Facebook. If I title things like that then people will read them. It’s basic marketing, folks. And if more people read it, then surely that will make me feel successful!


Okay then.

And I can admit that that motivation flies in the face of what I actually really believe: success is faithfulness, success is obedience, success is the fruit of the Spirit in operation in my life, success is not settling for manipulation or platform-building as a substitute for the organic movement and slow burn of the Spirit that lasts.

But to someone else, someone whose motives are more pure perhaps, it’s not a big deal. Add your exclamation points! and you won’t believe what happens next!

To the pure, all things are pure. This one is all on me and my motives for such things.

Back to boring titles.


And then once we know the truth about our motives for our actions – good or bad – can’t we then hold that up to the fresh air and ask for the wind of the Spirit to blow away the chaff, leaving us with the wheat kernels of goodness? And what remains after we is something pure and good and worthwhile, a seed worth planting, a path worth walking even if we walk alone.


This post is part of an ongoing series about the words and phrases my parents gave to me.

Series intro

Guard Your Gates

Have Your Own Truck

Continue Reading · faith, parenting · 13

Have your own truck :: On empowering our children

Empower your children :: Sarah Bessey

When I got my drivers license at 16 years old, my dad and mum bought us two girls a 1979 Ford half-ton. Our truck was brown, it weighed more than a building, and we named him Frank the Gas Monster. I went to work at a little retail store in the mall 20 hours a week while in high school because we were expected to put gas in Frank  – no small task with dual gas tanks. (Yes, we lived in Alberta and old trucks were cheap back then, how did you guess?)

Since I was the only driver until my sister got her license, I had to shuttle my sister around, too – which wasn’t a problem since we were close in age, best friends, and we had the same social circle. I drove us to school, to church, to youth group events, to parties, to camping trips with our friends, out on double dates with our boyfriends.

Having a kid who drives is convenient for a busy family, absolutely. And it was great to have wheels. But the main reason why my parents made sure we had a vehicle?

They wanted us to be in charge of our own selves.

They were determined that we would never be reliant on anyone else for a ride home, especially not a date, especially if a date went bad. If we ever wanted to leave a party early, we got to leave when we wanted to leave. They knew we could be counted on to drive safely: it wasn’t an option for us to be getting into a car with God knows who driving like a bat out of hell.

They were determined that their girls would be in charge of their own agency and mobility at all times.

Having our own truck was empowering. 

Over and over throughout my childhood and girlhood, my parents intentionally empowered us to be in charge of our own lives.

I’ve thought about Frank the Gas Monster a lot over the past few years but particularly right now when the Duggar story is bringing a much-needed light onto the truth and consequences of patriarchal culture, particularly on women. And when you write a book like Jesus Feminist, you become privy to a lot of women’s tender stories. In the past few years, through email and in person, I’ve been honoured to hear from women all around the world, desperate to share their precious stories with someone. And so often their stories break my heart.

So many of the women I hear from grew up in that sort of Duggar-ish patriarchal church culture that did the very opposite of my parents. Instead of empowering their girls, they dis-empowered them. Well-meaning authority figures often removed their agency, their mobility, their independence, isolating them and then shackling them into dependence on the good will of the men in their life. Children were controlled, women were subservient to men, and the consequences aren’t hard to figure out.

I can’t tell you how many women I hear from who are trapped in abusive or unhealthy or broken homes but feel unable to leave because they simply have no way to support themselves or their children. And when life hasn’t turned out according to the “Master Plan,” they are filled with despair and crippled. Their lives are still dependent on the good will of a man. That theology might work okay when everything is perfect and everyone is doing what they are supposed to do, but let’s be honest: life happens. And if that good will departed for one reason or another, they were devastated, of course, but now they were also on a steep learning curve. No credit cards, no education (often homeschooled), no drivers license, lots of small children, and so on. The consequences of this damaging theology are legion but lately I’ve been reminded afresh just how much of a price women pay when they are kept powerless. (As a note, I am not an expert on patriarchal church culture at all but if you are looking for a place of support, I’ve heard excellent things about Recovering Grace.)

Now, my parents have always had a strong, beautiful marriage based on mutuality. And sure, like most parents, they wanted us to experience the love of another person, to get married, have children. They fully expected that to happen.

But they made sure we were able to take care of ourselves, too.

If we ever got married, it was going to be because we wanted to, not because we had to.

And if we ever wanted or needed to leave a marriage, we would be able to do so. If our husbands left us or, God forbid, died, we would be okay for the practical work of running our lives and caring for our children even if our hearts were broken.

We were empowered from a young age to make our own decisions and to own our own lives.

There were other ways that my parents were very intentional about empowering us girls. Their expectations were high for school and work ethic. We were expected to get jobs if we wanted spending money. If we struggled in school, we were expected to show up for extra tutoring and studying until we figured it out (chemistry was nearly the death of me). We were expected to go on to university after high school – even though that wasn’t their own path. We were expected to earn scholarships to help pay for our own education, this was no free ride. We were expected to study a discipline that would get us into a career that could pay the bills.

Most importantly, we were given freedom to fail when the stakes were low. We could make a few bad decisions with our independence because their reasoning was that it was better to fail while they were there to help pick up the pieces than to send us out into the world for the first shot at failure.

Those years at home are practice for an independent life after home.

My own tinies are still quite small but I do keep the idea of empowerment close by as we raise them. Right now that looks different than a big brown Ford truck obviously but we find age-appropriate ways to encourage independence.

I’m learning to keep my eye on the long-game: I’m not managing children, I’m raising children into capable and compassionate adults. I’m not doing the tinies any favours to keep them dependent on me for everything from laundry to food, learning to relationships. Teaching responsibility and encouraging independence takes longer to teach, and it requires a tremendous amount of faith to take the risk of setting them free to make mistakes, but it is so worth it. That big ugly brown truck is my shorthand to remember that I need to empower my children to be independent and own their lives.

Keeping our children powerless does not do them any favours.


This post is part of an ongoing series about the lessons I picked up from my own parents about parenting


Continue Reading · parenting · 26

Transformation by Interruption

Transformation by Interruption :: Sarah Bessey

By nature, by nurture, and by training, I’m a planner. I’ve always been able to make a plan, work a plan, stick to a plan. It’s one of my greatest strengths, a dedication that has served me well in everything from my former work in strategic development and marketing to my life now as a writer and a mother.

I can attest to the writer of Proverbs that it is wise to “do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house” (Prov. 24:27, NLT). I love an organized spreadsheet and a strong vision-mission-purpose statement. I will probably always be a planner because I find God there: it’s the gospel of joining with God to bring order out of chaos, perhaps.

Yet, I’ve experienced God most deeply when my plans are disrupted.

That’s how these things usually work. There’s a shadow side to our strengths, often discovered through some inciting incident outside of our control. We find God in the space between what we know to do and the unknown territory where our usual methods are useless. I call these moments holy disruptions. They’re the places where I run out, when I have to decrease, and then, wouldn’t you know it? I see Christ increase.

For me, motherhood has been the holiest disruption of all.

Read the rest of this post at Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics….

Continue Reading · Guest Post, parenting · 5