I woke up this morning and I did not want to get out of bed.  I did not have a lot of motivation or ambition for today.  I have to take a thyroid medicine every morning that forces me to wait a half hour before I can eat breakfast, so I often use this as an excuse to lay in bed for that extra half hour.  Yet, as I lay there this morning, I realized that I actually had a pretty busy day planned, so I got up and took a shower.   The shower is a good time to think.  I found myself feeling very depressed, and it bugged me, so I was doing some mental wrestling in the shower.  I have been depressed all week, and I do not really know why, but I wanted to figure it out.  If you think hard enough, all of us could probably come up with a significant list of things that could cause us to be depressed.  Today, I did not have any major issue that was causing me to be depressed.  I just felt down.  I felt like there was a constant cloud that would hover overhead.   In an attempt to try to motivate myself, I found myself thinking things like, “What is it all for?  What is life all about?  What’s the point?”  Life felt kind of pointless and meaningless, and I thought if I could remind myself of the answers to the above questions, then I would have the drive to overcome the cloud of depression.  Instead, I kept coming back to that word: meaningless.   I have always really resonated with the Book of Ecclesiastes.  A lot of the questions that Solomon (I think that’s who wrote it) asks are similar to the ones I have personally wrestled with.  If you have not read Ecclesiastes lately or ever, I recommend carving out a chunk of time to read it.  Solomon, who achieved all kinds of wealth and position in the world and was granted the gift of wisdom, wrestles through all of these “What is the[…]

Love Well.

I have had several deep and rich experiences begin with the asking of a simple question.  A special journey with 10 amazing women began with this question.  Other relationships have been strengthened and deepened by this question.  A couple nights ago, a deep time, tearful (in a good way) time of fellowship with a couple friends included the asking of this question.  The question?   “What do we need to know about you to love you well?”   It is a simple question, yet profoundly deep.  It is an invitation that can either be received or rejected.  Most of the time, the question is received well because deep at our core, we have a desire to know and be known.  We just do not always know how to reach that deeper level of intimacy with one another.   For most of my life, I have kept people at arm’s length.  Honestly, I did not even realize I was holding people at a distance.  I was clueless about how to let people in to my heart.  I kept up these protective walls to prevent getting hurt.  The thing is, you can still get hurt at arms length.  But when people are kept at a distance, the only real thing that is accomplished is you miss out on deep connections.  You are trying to prevent the bad from happening, but that still happens.  Meanwhile, you are preventing good from happening.   I had one friend that managed to get past my outstretched arm in high school, but it wasn’t until college, that a few people began to scale the walls of my heart.  I did not make it easy for them, but once a few people had gotten closer to my heart, I realized I had been missing out.   God has hard-wired us all to need deep connections with people, but the enemy of our souls works diligently to get us to hold on to past hurts in order to prevent us from future relationships.  Call it “commitment issues” or “being strong,” but either way you look at it, there is[…]

Limited…yet, unlimited

The end of my rope?  Nothing left to give?  No more strength to fight?  Yes, welcome to my yesterday.   After a full 2 weeks of fighting sickness in the Heerlyn home including:  a sick birthday, a week of missed school and an ER visit, I thought we were finally in the clear.  Then it happened.  On the way to school to drop Alliyah off, I looked in the rear view mirror to see Joshua vomiting.  I quickly pulled the car over just in time to swing the door open to the back seat as round two was ramping up.  There really is nothing you can do when your child is strapped in a 5 point harness and the “stuff” is all over and it just keeps coming.   In that moment, I’m pretty sure I looked over my shoulder for someone who could jump in and take over.  You want to tag someone else and say, “You’re it,” only, YOU are it.  I knew that if I turned around and cleaned him up at home, Alliyah would be very late for school and then it could happen all over again.   So I cranked a window and the heat and drove on.  When we finally got back home, my poor little buddy was soaked in his “stuff,” and I was just about sick from smelling it the whole drive.   I got him all cleaned up and settled on the couch in front of the TV.  Then it hit.  The adrenaline rush was gone and shear exhaustion set in.  After 2 weeks of being stuck at home and fighting my own battle with sickness for the latter half of that time, I was mentally spent and physically exhausted.  Yet ahead of me stood piles of laundry, the need to pack for a long road trip, and a doctor’s appointment in less than an hour to check and see if I might have skin cancer.   I have fought anxiety and panic-y-ness for about 10 years now.  It began when I took my first real step to whole-heartedly follow after[…]

Spring Unseen

There have been a lot of complaints flowing throughout Facebook this week with the arrival of the first day of Spring in Michigan as we were under a Lake Effect Snow Advisory.  Poor Punxatawny Phil must have received countless death threats.  I never did manage to get Joshua (3 yrs. old) to believe me that it was the first day of Spring.  He kept looking outside and saying, “No, it’s not Spring.  It’s Winter.”   It is amazing how what we see in the physical can make it so difficult to believe in the unseen.   As humans, we have begun to rely more and more on what we can see, hear, feel, smell, or taste.  Scientifically speaking, if you can not measure something with one of these senses, then it does not exist.  It all comes down to proof.  Can you prove it?   If you google “What is Science?” you will find a variety of different definitions.  What they all have in common is the quest for understanding and being able to organize information in a way that explains anything one might encounter.  I am on board with science in many ways.  I really like to understand.  I REALLY like to understand.  If I do not understand something, I have a hard time laying an issue to rest.  However, science falls short on many issues.   For example, how can science explain the couple who has been married for years and never used protection who suddenly gets pregnant?  How can science explain the couple who is “too old” to have a baby, holding a baby from her womb in their arms?  How can science explain how a husband and a wife can feel so far gone in their relationship, yet find reconciliation and a happy marriage?  How can science explain the ankle that is hurt that is suddenly without pain?  There are far too many scenarios in life in which science can offer no understanding.   “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).   Faith.  Faith[…]

Barren Trees

I saw the most beautiful sight tonight as the sun was setting.  Clouds darkened the sky in the east, opposite the setting sun.  Trees lined my view to the south and the sun was just kissing the tops of the trees.  It was absolutely beautiful.  The colors were so dynamic and such a stark contrast.  I could almost see the dark clouds fleeing in fear of the brilliance on the tops of the trees.  (I wish I would have taken a picture.  The picture above is a sunrise.)   It got me wondering if I had ever looked at a barren tree and thought it was beautiful.  Typically, a barren tree is not in its glory – it is more a symbol of death than life.  The Spring brings a completely different story, but as long as it is Winter and no leaves are on the tree, the tree looks barren, empty.  But tonight I looked at several barren trees and was struck by their beauty.   Perhaps it is obvious to you the connection God made for me tonight.  When light shines on anything, it brings out beauty.  Sometimes the darkness that we have had to weather actually makes the beauty that much more brilliant when the light shines because we notice the contrast.   The very nature and principle of light is that is drives away darkness.  Darkness simply can not remain when light is present.  Darkness by definition is actually the absence of light.  It implies that light is not present.   “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).   Darkness is present in our world, but we do not have to walk around in the thick of it.  Jesus is the Light of the world.  Invite him to be present with you.  He will not come unless invited.  He will stand at the door and knock (Rev. 3:20) because He so desperately wants to drive away the darkness for you. […]

Welcome to!  I am so glad you are here. This space was created when my life story was not following the path I expected.  For years, infertility was the main topic of my wrestle.  These days, I find myself sorting through the mental chaos of mothering, wife-ing, friend-ing, teacher-ing, daughter-ing and what-is-my-life-purpose-ing.  As I try to steady my thoughts and park them in a healthy place, God has made one thing clear:  maintaining hope in Him is the key. Check out my blog for a window into my story.

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