Last pregnancy post?

Nope. Still no baby. As best we can, we are patiently waiting Nora’s arrival (easier said than done). I would love to tell you that I have been the picture of grace and peace during this time, but that would be a lie.


40 weeks exactly

I have learned a lot about myself throughout this pregnancy. There is all kinds of ugly in my heart! Things that I struggle with have been magnified. Especially here at the end, I am seeing more and more how much I think I need control and how little I actually trust God. Can I just be real? I am major type A, controlling, impatient, my way or the highway, do it myself kind of person. This should be no surprise to anyone who actually knows me. That my husband still loves me amazes me. I’ve talked about it before, but this has certainly been a time of learning to let go of that control.

I have been under the illusion that I was doing better with letting go of the reigns and allowing God to guide me…yeah not so much. I want to have this baby NOW! And if I can’t have her now, then I at least want her to come in a time and fashion that aligns with my plans…yeah right.

Yet, in the midst of my ugly, I have had some beautiful moments that I can see God’s hand at work in me. I started going through “Jesus Calling” again, and oh my the past few mornings have been stab me in the heart perfect. They have been reminders that I am to wait and trust on God. I am to let go of control because when I fight for what I think is control, what I am really saying is that I don’t trust in God’s plan for my life. I am to offer God a sacrifice of thanksgiving by living like Mary at the feet of Jesus, rather than striving like Martha to do, do, do.

When I’m fighting against God’s plan, there is no peace. Yet, when I stop fighting and wait on him, he promises to renew my strength. He assures perfect peace for those who focus their minds on him.  And though I may feel like I cannot possibly do this any longer, his word assures me that he has prepared me for this very thing and that with him all things are possible.

I have no choice but to keep waiting. I do have a choice in how I respond to the wait. My every day battle is to choose more Jesus, and that battle is so worth the fight.


40 weeks and 5 days at my non-stress test. Nora’s happy and healthy in there!


God’s timing is always perfect, so for now we are still waiting. That’s not to say we haven’t heard and tried just about every labor inducing myth out there. We are believing that Nora must need some more time in there, and she will come exactly when she needs to. Thank you so much to everyone who has been praying for us and sending us good thoughts. Will you pray and believe with us that Nora will come on her own?  We hope to introduce you to our sweet girl soon!



Nursery Tour

I am so excited that our nursery is finally complete! Now if we just had a baby to put in there, right? There really isn’t a “theme” for the room. I wanted something very simple and neutral for the nursery. I absolutely LOVE how it turned out. There are so many little details that hold such special meaning for us.


My amazing in-laws gave us the beautiful crib.


The print was something Zach picked out. I love seeing it above the crib. I hope and pray Nora does dream big. More than that I pray that she opens her heart to the crazy, big dreams God has for her.


The details on this little shelf are some of my favorite. The frame holds my late grandmother’s handkerchief that I carried in our wedding. The box is part of the gift our friends Tiffany and Andrew gave us as part of our gender reveal. It now holds all of the sweet mementos people have given Nora over the past several months. There is a fabric Noah’s ark that I got while in Uganda, as well as a toy zebra I got there.


I cannot wait to rock Nora in this chair. This is the same chair Zach’s mom rocked him in as a baby. And of course there is another stash of books beside the chair. You can never have too many books!


These sweet birds also came from Uganda. I have been so excited to hang them up. I love not only how beautiful they are, but that a part of a ministry I love is in her nursery.


A sweet friend made this beautiful dresser for us. And oh my the precious pink things that fill those drawers.


The print I found on Etsy. I feel like not only is it a declaration over my daughter of who she is, but a reminder to me as I’m spending countless hours in her room.


These are probably my two favorite drawers. After weighing the pros and cons, we decided to cloth diaper. I have gotten so much invaluable advice from other mamas using cloth diapers, and I am so excited to start using them. Besides saving us a huge chunk of money, are they not the cutest?!


We removed the closet door and replaced it with a matching drape. The tiny rocking chair is another oldie from Zach’s family.


And here we are at just over 37 weeks! Nora, we are so ready to meet you! You are welcome to come any day now 😉



The Final Weeks

Just a few more weeks until baby Nora will be here! We have been busy since I’ve been home from Uganda. We are blessed with some amazing friends and family who love us and our little girl like crazy.

I celebrated Nora in Georgia with some sweet friends from college.


Then we celebrated baby girl with our Ohio family.


Then we headed back to Georgia for a fun weekend with friends and family there.



And finally ended back in Indiana for a fun joint shower with our best friends here.



Whew! Lots of traveling and lots of fun, but this tired mama is thankful to be home. I cannot get over how much love has been poured out on our growing family. I hope Nora always knows just how treasured and loved she is.

We are about 3 weeks away from my due date. Of course, who knows when she will actually make her appearance. I’ve been busy getting the nursery ready (tour coming soon), packing bags, and cooking meals. I have also been doing what I can to mentally/spiritually prepare for birth. While I know I will never be truly prepared for the experience, I am using this time as an opportunity to press into God. I am trusting Him to carry me through my lowest, darkest moments of labor.

We have also made the decision for me to quit my job. I work for an amazing program called Healthy Families and love my job, but I know I will never look back and regret the time I have at home. We will most certainly be making some spending adjustments and doing everything we can to be frugal, but I have no doubt it will be so worth it.

Zach and I are “patiently” enjoying these final days as just the two of us, but are so very excited to meet our girl!


We Are All Called

I realize there are probably other versions of this exact post on this blog already, but it is something that is so heavy on my heart that I have to share it yet again. I am called to fight for the orphan and widow. But why?

Is it because I have seen things on my trips that absolutely break my heart? No. I see things right here in Indiana that break my heart. I see the church as a whole do things that break my heart. Is it because of those “poor little orphans” and the horrible conditions they live in? No. While there are many physical needs that need to be met, and the church absolutely needs to do something about that, I think it is sad that in America we think we “need” so much. Is it because I am better or holier than you? Absolutely not. Going on a trip to Uganda pregnant was scary for me. But it was not heroic or extraordinary. The fact that I was afraid, is an indication of my own sinful nature because He has not given us a spirit fear but of power and love and a sound mind.

I am called to fight for the orphan and widow because that is what we are supposed to do as Christians. Please do not look at me and give me honor. Please do not look at my pictures and feel sorry for the faces you see. I have learned so much from the people I’ve met on my trips. I have seen in those faces what Christ meant when He said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” I don’t go and feel sorry for the people I meet; I feel sorry for me. I have so much to learn from them.

I have quoted it before on this blog, and I will again because it is so important to understand, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” That’s it. Or read in Matthew about the sheep and the goats and what separate the two; “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” I mess up a lot. Things that I think I know are probably wrong. I am so far from what I want to be in Christ. But I know that if we are going to call ourselves a Christian, then we are called to simply love. That’s it. That’s why I’m called to fight for the orphan and widow. We all are. I was just also called to Uganda.






“How was your trip?” When you come home from a mission trip, and get asked this for the first time, it can leave you at a loss for words. On a trip like this you are flooded with so many emotions: joy, sorrow, excitement, exhaustion, anger. When you come home, back to your very comfortable reality, you have to process through all that you have seen. I love that after each of my trips God has taught me something new.     So, what did I learn from those beautiful people?


1) I need to slow down and focus on relationships. We often joke about being on “African time” while there. No one gets in a hurry. You have to be flexible in your idea of a schedule. People are “late” because they spend so much time talking. And it is beautiful. I had someone attempt to teach me a few Lugandan phrases while there. I learned that there is one greeting for someone you see all the time. However, if you are greeting someone you don’t see daily, there is a much longer exchange. So much in my life is go, go, go all the time. That’s not what God created us to be like. He is a God of relationships. We just miss those beautiful relationships because we are too busy to slow down.


2) I am selfish. Ok so this wasn’t exactly news to me. Self-sacrifice seems to be ingrained. One day we served food to the kids at Return Ministries. I watched older siblings make sure the baby in their lap got a plate first. I saw kids tear open a sugar packet and split it between their friends. Ugly truth, I have gotten upset before when my husband came home early, and I had to unexpectedly share my snack. I am all about my comfort and my desires. That is not how Christ lived! He was constantly giving of himself.


3) I need to let go of my expectations, and trust in God’s provision. We were welcomed into several homes, and what was universal of every family we met was that they were so honored to invite us in. They did not care what they had or didn’t have. They glorified God for providing for their needs. They trusted that He was going to answer their prayers. Absolutely every single one of my needs is met. Any discontent I feel is because I lack something I want. How peaceful life would be if we trusted God to provide for our needs and thanked Him for any blessing above that.


The trick to any mission trip is fighting to remember the lessons once you are home. It’s not easy. I have already caught myself slipping into old patterns. But I will continue to share stories with you because I need to be reminded of the lessons learned.


Home Again

I’m home! I’m feeling well rested after crashing at 8 yesterday, but am still battling a little bit of jet-lag. I promise to share some stories soon, but for now I need some time to process. In the meantime, enjoy a few photos!

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Another Ugandan Update

We are wrapping up out time here in Uganda at Return Ministries. We have loved and been loved on by hundreds of kids. We had ths honor today of delivering rice, flour, beans, and posho to families in the village. How blessed we are. Tomorrow we will attend church with our new Ugandan friends. Church in Uganda is truly a one of a kind experience, simply amazing! I, along with two other team members have been asked to speak. An amazing honor. Prayers are greatly appreciated! Also, pray for our hearts. Ending our time here will be difficult. Going home is just the beginning. Pray for team members as they look for the next step.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We are having an amazing time. We spent one day going into the homes of families in the village. What an honor to sit and share in their lives for a bit. We rang in the new year with a huge all day celebration full of food, music, dancing, and laughter. As I sat with my team that night we could hear drums and singing from the church. How awesome to bring in 2014 here! We have the rest of today here at Ekubo before heading to Return. Nora has been dancing to some African drums today. I am feeling great. Everyone has been so sweet and mindful of how I’m doing. Continue to pray for strength and health for the team in the days ahead. Pray for all of our hearts as we listen for God’s message for each of us. Miss you all!


Ready, set, go!

This is it! The moment I have been preparing for for months. I am sitting on a tiny plane ready for flight one of this journey. I cannot even begin to tell you the range of emotions I’m feeling. Stepping out in faith is never supposed to be easy or comfortable. I will update as I am able once in country. Please be in prayer for my team as we travel today and tomorrow!


Getting Ready!

I can hardly believe this trip is two weeks away! May I just say, I have been blown away by all of you. I am so incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support. Just a few short weeks ago I was in full blown pre-mission trip, pregnancy hormones, melt-down mode. I could not see how I would possibly raise the money in time. I was feeling defeated. Just a day or two after Zach and I made a plan for making the final payment, donations came pouring in. Isn’t that just like God’s right on time, down to the wire timing? I was fully funded in a matter of days. You would think that when time after time God has provided, I would stop doubting. Yet, I seem to always find myself relating to Peter. I am so eager to step out on the water with Christ, but once I see the waves, I start to sink. I am thankful though that despite my many faults, God never gives up on me and continues to offer opportunities for me to step out on the water.

So in two weeks, Nora and I will be getting on a plane to Africa! Can I ask you to pray for our team as we travel? Anyone who has flown much knows it’s a great time to work on strengthening your patience!  On 12/28 at 5:45 am I will be flying out of Indianapolis headed to Washington D.C. I’ll join up with the rest of the team then. We’ll hop on the plane for Uganda at 10:15 am. We’ll land in Ethiopia about 13.5 hours later for a quick 2 hour layover before getting on the plane for the last 2 hour flight to Uganda. Once we arrive in Uganda, we will hit the ground running until we fly home on January 6th. Please pray for strength and flexibility for all of us!

Our time will be packed full while we’re there. One fun thing we have planned is to do a photo booth with the kids! We have a couple of cameras we’re taking, along with some crazy props. Many of the kids have not seen a picture of themselves and most certainly don’t own a picture of themselves. One of the greatest gifts we can give, is an opportunity for kids to be kids and have fun! If you’d like to help us purchase film, it is available for purchase on Amazon here.

Another project I am so incredibly excited for involves us partnering with an organization called Days for Girls. We will be giving washable feminine hygiene kits to girls and educating them on how to use it. This is huge! If a family is choosing between food and feminine hygiene products, what would your choice be? Not having sanitary supplies means days without school, income, or leaving the house. According to Days for Girls, girls use leaves, mattress stuffing, newspaper, corn husks, rocks, anything they can find…but still miss up to 2 months of school every year. These kits help to change that.

We are taking baby supplies (formula, child tylenol, etc.) and school supplies (pens, notebooks, etc.) with us. For those of you have donated these items, THANK YOU!! You are amazing! I can’t wait to stuff my bag with all of your goodies. Trickiest thing is getting all of this to fit in my one 50 pound suitcase!

As far as pregnancy goes, I’m feeling great! Mentally, I had prepared to be giant and miserable by the time we left for Uganda, that way I would be pleasantly surprised if I wasn’t! I am not feeling giant or miserable. Besides typical pregnancy symptoms, I feel really good. I know that I will feel physically challenged at times and the plane ride will be far from comfortable, but really when does a flight that long ever feel comfortable?

As my team and I are preparing our hearts, please keep us in your prayers. I can’t wait to share all of the amazing God stories that are to come. We’ll be on our way soon!