{letter to my senior}

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dear kate,

you bounded down the steps with your hair curled and floral book bag
draped over your shoulder.

“it’s my last first day of school, mom!” you beamed.

i just stared.

those moments where you seem so big and so little all at the same time.
and i wonder, how can it feel only days?

only days since i first found out you were in me.
only days of first steps and first words and that first day of school.
sitting across from me at the kitchen table.
how inadequate i felt. always.
to teach you all you needed. still do.

i so often feel i haven’t got a clue.
but you’ve been the best child to learn to parent on.
you’ve made it easy.
you are gracious and patient and let things go quickly.
i’m sure this is why we’re still friends.
not because of anything right i’ve actually done but because of how forgiving you are.

your spirit of easily letting go will take you far.
far in relationships.
far in freedom you’ll find within.
far in keeping your heart tender.
never lose that.
your open heart towards others.
hurts will come and you’ll want to shut down. cave in. give up on people.
but when you stay tender. sensitive. you win!

because loving the way Jesus did always does.

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i love that you already see this.
that taking a chance on people is what it’s all about.
that a life lived for others is a life truly lived.

i pray your senior year finds you living hard. living free.
living full and living without fear.
there’s so much talk and emphasis put on what you’ll do when school is done.
don’t sweat it, babe.
you’ll do what you always do. what any of us can do –
you’ll do the next thing.

the same God who’s led you till now will keep right on leading.
people plan and save and map out their lives.
nothing wrong with that. only..
all the preparation in the world matters little if it’s not His voice you’re following.

sure. chase dreams. follow your passions. embrace your gifts. run after adventure.
but always let your steps be guided by the still small voice within.
His way – though not ours – is best.
and His will – though not always making sense –
is exactly what we’d choose if we knew all the facts.

you can trust an unknown future to an all-knowing God.


i think of how much i love you. how my love only grows..
and the more i know you the more i fall in love with who you are.
but in all that. in the deepest, most glued tight together bond a mother feels for her child
it can’t compare to that of your Heavenly Parent.
His love is perfect. it is everlasting. it is your life-line.
and it is, and will be, your confidence.
loved by God. cherished daughter of the King. crafted by the Creator of the Universe.
who thought about you. planned for you. made you on purpose. for a purpose.
of any title you could ever claim remember it is this one, “He knows me”
where your true identity is found.
it always comes back to that.
that we know Him and are known of Him. and loved just as we are.

it is the hope that anchors us.
you are precious and valued.
you matter to God!
where else can hope like that be found?

education can inflate.
degrees fade.
friends disperse.
plans change.
dreams take on new forms.
and paths aren’t always as straight as we once perceived.
but this.
love God. love others.
this is success!
this is eternal.
this is life!

i don’t know what the beginning of all these lasts this year looks like.
we’ve never walked this way before.
where you’ll be next year. what lies ahead.
but i have confidence in the One who gave you to me to begin with
and i put you, once again, where i’ve put a thousand times since..
right back in His more than capable arms.

fly high little bird.
you were made to soar.
do it without fear.


i love you.


{the shards that remain}


i’ve always cooked my roast in the crock pot.
same as my mom always did.
then. my crock pot broke and when it came time to fix another pot roast,
i’d yet to replace it.
so, as things like this can go i happened to be watching the food network late one night.
trisha yearwood was sharing her favorite pot roast recipe where she cooked it in the oven. in a pan.
“well, there i go,” i thought.
“tomorrow i’m going to make my pot roast, in a pan. in the oven.”

about 2 in the afternoon i put it in.
a whole onion chopped on top. salt and pepper to taste. aluminum foil wrapped round.
and tucked down into a glass 9×12 pan with a layer of water in the bottom..
i remember there was a lot of emphasis on making sure to keep water in the pan.
i set the oven at 250 and pretty soon the house was filled with it’s alluring smell.

i love meals like that.
10 minute prep. cooks all afternoon.practically fixing itself.
ready.set. go at dinner time.
always makes me feel like such a june cleaver kind of mom.
so organized and with it!

and with head held high at my rare super mom status for the day,
i went to take a walk with reese.
we were just going around the block. but we pass the park..
so of course, there had to be a stop.
and then all the pretty flowers {weeds} blooming everywhere she just has to pick for me.
by the time we got home i was rushing to grab the van keys to hurry to pick up one
of the older kids from somewhere…
but passing through the kitchen a smell that wasn’t quite burnt
but soon to be caught my nose.

“my roast!!!” i said, as i threw open the oven door.
totally forgetting that earlier feeling of accomplishment as i stared at my very
parched looking roast sitting in a very dry pan.

i grabbed the oven mitts and pulled the rack out to access the roast.
all i could think was trisha yearwood said, “whatever you do don’t let that
water dry up in the bottom of the pan!”
so i grabbed a glass of water from the tap and poured it over the roast
as if putting out a fire.
and the instant.. the instant, that first drop spilled over the edge
and before i could even turn my wrist back upright again,
i suddenly realized what i had just done.

extremely hot pan. cold glass of water?

i turned my head back in the opposite direction to brace myself just as..
the glass exploded with a loud bang in every single direction possible.
and when i turned back. there was my poor little roast
sitting on the only tiny section of what was left of the shattered pan,
looking quite pitiful.

it took awhile to clean up the mess.
and even days of making the kids wear their shoes because i knew i missed slivers of it…
there was just no way to possibly get every little piece.
i knew there were some i had missed.

but crazy thing is. this was months ago. and even after all this time now –
still, i’m finding remnants of what happened that afternoon.

just the other day something shiny caught my eye in front of the sink on the floor.
looking closer, i saw it was glass.
and yesterday. sweeping, as i’ve done a dozen times since,
a huge piece came out from under the stove!
“how?” i thought.
“i’ve swept this same place so many times since then.
why is this piece just now coming out?”

and as i moved the stove to find even more pieces i had missed..
i began thinking of times throughout my life where my heart has felt the exact same.


shattered by something that happened. something someone did. someone said.
a lie. a humor. a piece of gossip.
an action. something you never expected coming from that direction.
something that came quickly. suddenly. poured out over what was going to be so good.
and.. just like that, and in that moment. in an instant.
sending your heart. your trust. your insecurities. your fears.
your relationship. your belief… flying in a thousand pieces.

and as most hurts go.
we pick up the major pieces right away.
the ones we see. the ones obvious.
but that’s the thing with anything that’s broken..
we don’t always know exactly where all the pieces landed.
where they ended up. where they might be tucked away.
and there are times. times when we least expect it.
times we feel we’re doing just fine. times we think we’ve got it all dealt with.
then. one casual, any kind of day, we’re sweeping away in the kitchen and bam!
there it is.
a huge chunk we didn’t realize was still there.

an ugly jagged piece.
a piece it seems too obvious to have missed.
a piece that even puzzles us.
and we sweep it away. and hope there aren’t any more.
but somehow, we know there will be.
somehow when things shatter you can never really, truly, find every single
tiny part and put it together again.
with some things, there is no putting together again as it was.

at first, as i’m cleaning behind my stove and thinking all this, it saddened me.
that what was, could never be that way again.
that things can’t just go back to how they were.
that once shattered. there is no fixing.

but then, this truth came to mind.
i give beauty for ashes.
and the years the locust have eaten i restore.
behold, i make all things new.

it doesn’t say He gives back what was.
and He doesn’t give what we had. He gives beauty in place of ashes.
yes, He puts the broken pieces together again. but He puts them together in His way.

a vessel with cracks and marred and imperfect.
but the holes only give His light more places to shine!

suddenly i see that the things that have shattered me
have not rendered me less valuable or useless.
only the opposite.

and though there will still be pieces always coming from places i didn’t expect.
that’s okay.
with each piece i can see it as a chance for His grace to fuse together what was broken.

there is beauty in the shards that remain.
the pieces missing.
the pieces still to be discovered.
each one an opportunity to allow Him to take and put together again. as it should be.

as only He can do.

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“I’ll make up for the years of the locust,
the great locust devastation—
You’ll eat your fill of good food.
You’ll be full of praises to your God,
You’ll know without question
that I’m in the thick of life with you,
That I’m your God, yes, your God,
the one and only real God.” joel 2:25

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” isa 43:19

{the house we bought but didn’t move to}


thank you all so much for all the love and kindness over the last post.
i am forever floored by this community of online people.~

i wanted to clarify since a few wrote and asked..
the reason we waited so long to tell about the miscarriage
was simply because it took a month and a half from the time i went to the clinic,
to when i had my tests, and then the doctor’s appointment for the results back.
(that’s national healthcare for ya – if you’re not near dead or dying they don’t
really get in a hurry)
only half kidding! ;)

we feel total peace about the Lord’s decision.
we know the little ones that haven’t been able to stay with us here are not lost to us..
they have only gone on before us home, and we will see them again someday in heaven.

it’s a day that grows only more dear.


but for the pain and hard of these past months
it has carried much joy as well.
which seems so often the case –
the good and bad cradling each other.
both, strangely needed in order to fully appreciate and see the depth of the other.

one of those joys was being able to, for the first time ever, become homeowners!
we bought a house, y’all!!
which i know alot already know since i shared on instagram..
it just feels really good to say.
we bought a house, y’all.

i finally feel all official and grown up or something.
guess a huge amount of debt does that to ya, huh?

but the coolest part there was no packing.
no going around to wal-mart and costco to collect brown boxes.
no u-haul or planning where to put things in a new place.

we bought the house we’d been renting here for the past two and a half years!

i could just leave it at that.

it’s pretty great right there.
but this is one of those stories that means way more if you know the back story!~
so if you’re a back story liking kind of person.. cozy down. here goes.


it was last november –
we had just gotten back from thanksgiving.
a day of 10plus hours in the van and exhaustion and emotion leaving family behind.
pulling onto our street, finally, late in the early hours of the morning.
i thought i could see something in the front yard.. but not sure.
was that our house?
or the one next door?
it looked like a sign. a.. for sale sign?

as we neared and slowed and pulled in,
any doubt was confirmed as the headlights glared the words plain and bright.
i can still remember my heart instantly catching. pounding nervously.
all the questions and what if’s? that came pouring in.
we knew our landlord was thinking of selling.
we just didn’t know it was going to be, now!

those months that followed were strange. and strained, if i’m honest.
to suddenly feel not at home in your home.
to wonder where your home was going to be six months from now. even sooner?

and it wasn’t just the house being for sale.
there were decisions shayne was making with his company..
other possibilities. opportunities. all south of the border! ;)

funny though, it was shayne who was more ready to leave than me.
and i confused even myself with what i wanted.

we talked and prayed and went round with all the options.

we included the kids in everything. especially the older ones.
talking about it at length as a family.
wanting to know their thoughts. their hearts.
every single one certainly with their own opinions.

kate wanted to stay. to finish school.
ben wanted to stay. or move somewhere with snow so he could snowboard.
it was all about the boarding for him!
emma wanted to go back to cincinnati. right next door to mamaw and papaw.
and reese said, “where you go, mommy?” she was just all about being by me.

my heart ran in all directions and it was hard to decipher.
there were too many emotions clouding everything.
and so i learned, what i’ve learned again and again, and seem to always come back to;
just to live where i am for that moment.
to find the joy and remember His faithfulness.

and so each day became that.

taking my eyes off further down the road and looking only to the next step.
bringing it to Him and laying it down.
my prayer becoming, very simply, “open and close doors, Lord. lead us in your way”

and day after day as i looked out the window and saw that for sale sign..
i found my heart catching less and less.
the fear of the unknown never completely gone, only, much quieter.
cushioned against His grace.


then, came the week of the open house.
and here i would say, i take back everything i just wrote in the above two paragraphs.
of living day by day, of trusting His faithfulness.
people began to buzz this place and i freaked!
strangers stopping and looking.
cars sitting in front of the house, pulling in the driveway.
people randomly coming to the door to ask to see inside.

and on saturday, as i cleaned, i thought of how odd it was to be “preparing” the house.
what had been OUR house for two and a half years..
for someone else to come in and like and be impressed with and want to buy!

i asked shayne to come upstairs to the bedroom.
because i didn’t want the kids to see me cry.
you know those times in life when you’re trying to be so strong for your kids?
but you feel nothing more than an abnormally tall 10-year-old yourself?
once upstairs, i told shayne, through tears, that we needed to come to a conclusion.
and it was one i felt he was going to have to make for all of us.
there was no making everyone happy. there was no truly knowing, or guarantee.
and i did one of the hardest things i’ve ever done in our married life – –
i told him i’d trust him completely with whatever answer he gave.

not that i’ve never trusted my husband.
i do. explicitly.
there’s no one in the world i have more confidence in.
but this was one of those times as a wife i could feel how heavy my influence was.
that with just the right turn or tug i could sway him. and it scared me.
that much control. and not knowing if i would control it in the right direction.
so i turned it over to him.

i wondered if i was being cowardly – yielding my right to help make the decision.
but as soon as the words came out of my mouth, i knew just how much courage it actually took.
trusting that an all-wise God can work in and through others for my benefit?

trusting God alone is one thing.
trusting Him through flawed individuals is a completely different kind of trust.

the next morning, sunday, the day of the open house,
shayne said he had prayed about it.

“i think God wants US to buy this house, babe!”

i stared at him blankly for several minutes before saying,
“and.. what’s plan b?”


being self-employed has always been the main deterrent to us owning our own home.
and if you’re self employed, you know what i’m talking about.
not to mention, real estate here in canada is double what we pay in midwest america.
so even if we were in a position to secure a mortgage,
no way we could get approved for the asking price of this house.

shayne said we should look at it like a fleece.
because yes, so much had to happen for that to ever be a reality.
a lot more than just a wet and dry side, i was thinking.
if you don’t know what i’m talking about, look up the story of Gideon in the bible.
bless him! so glad for guy’s like that that make me feel a bit more normal in my doubting.

shayne text our landlord, “we’d be interested in buying the house.”

of course i’m thinking the timing couldn’t be any worse..
hours before the open house.
where i’m pretty sure people were lined around the block like the nanny scene in mary poppins to buy it!

we went to church. out to eat. browsed stores. waiting for the time to pass.
still no word from our landlord.

when we returned later, after we were sure everyone was gone
there was a guy in his car in the driveway.
as soon as we got out, he did too.

“um.. so i understand you guys might buy this place?
and i want you to know that if you don’t, i am!”

shayne and i just looked at each other. then him, “okay..?”

later that evening our landlord came to the door.
he told us he had 3 offers that day, for the full asking price.
my heart fell. and his voice muffled in my head until,
“but, i’d rather see you guys have the place than anyone…”
my eyes shot straight to shayne’s to hear his response.
to see if i had misunderstood.

shayne told him we weren’t sure we could get approved for the loan.
he said, no problem. he would hold the mortgage.
and a few days later as we sat down to more officially go over things
he said he would like to take all the back rent and use as a down payment.
as well as lowered the price considerably than the original asking price.
{let’s just refresh here – that THREE others had been willing to pay!}

who does that kind of stuff?

God does.

the God of mama’s that fret and worry and think we’ll be living in a tent.
the God of people who need fleeces.
that need both sides. wet and dry!
the God who can strengthen a wife’s faith to trust Him through her husband.
to move a landlord’s heart to do what’s out of the ordinary.
a husband’s resolve to lead his family.
and four kids whose eyes lit up when we told them there would be no moving.

we had bought a house.
and we weren’t going anywhere.

to see the relief wash over their faces..
i hadn’t realized how much of a worry it was to them.
wondering where we would end up. what the days ahead held.
and my peace felt more solidified from their response.


i will admit that as exciting as this whole new homeowner thing is –
when i dreamed of buying a house all these years, canada wasn’t exactly the location i had imagined.
especially since it seems to make this “temporary move” even more permanent.
i felt, and still do, this strangeness of emotions of finally being settled, and yet the struggle of
contentment at where it is we have settled, after all. for now anyway.

but the thing is this.
when you’ve walked with the Lord through so much..
look back and see all He’s done. witnessed His faithfulness.
there is comfort in that.
knowing no matter what lies ahead it’s going to be okay.
the same One who walked with me then, walks with me now.

He will lead me safely home.
to my true home.

there’s no fear –
when He’s your travel companion.


{of loss. and trust. and a God we call, “Abba!”}


it’s been almost two months now.
a little life we didn’t even know was there
until we were already saying goodbye.
and then the complications. the questions. the tests.
the final doctor’s appointment last week.
and though we already knew..
to hear the official word felt tender.
knocking a deeper ache i didn’t even recognize was there.

this would be our 4th miscarriage now through the years.
and though familiar, the pain isn’t lessened.
it still catches me.
perhaps in different ways now.
we would have loved another. have prayed for one since reese.
but yet, at this stage of life my heart also feels content – to a degree.
i find myself thinking maybe more than i thought i would about what an addition would look like for us.
and where to go from here? and when is time to stop “trying?”
another baby would be a game changer.
and yet.. there still seems that small empty spot inside that another would fill.

and i find myself in territory i know far too well.
of learning {once again} that all i need, God already is!

i feel it settling more within me.
the hurts and doubts and dark places of these past weeks.
but it’s been a process.
and there so much more to the story {there is always more to someone’s story}.
and though not at liberty to share those details-
i will say, it has been way more than just babies that needed surrendering in this heart.

so often what i think i fear inside these clenched fists of mine isn’t really the battle..
the battle is opening my hands to begin with.
loosening my grasp of control in exchange for trust in a God that is Soveriegn and cannot make mistakes.

do i pretend to always understand why He does what He does? no.
and i certainly don’t always like it.
but i believe that only the wisest love filters all that touches my life.
and therefore, i don’t need to dread or be afraid of whatever i’m facing. whatever lies ahead.

“for you have not received the spirit of bondage that leads you into fear again ..
but you have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father!” rom.8:15

i think all of life. ALL. is about coming to this place of intimacy with Him.

every heartache. every loss. every dream shattered. every question raised. every trial faced.
every point of surrender. every dark night. every wilderness. every red sea before us..
it is all to bring us to a point of realizing there is a story so much bigger. a home still to come. a Saviour who holds the victory. and a God we can run to called, “Abba!”

this. is what it’s about.
this is what it’s always been about.


“what if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
is a revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?”


so fill me, Lord.

{a safe place}


i sorta ran away home because i needed to get away.
sometimes when life seems closing in i feel i need to do that.
back to familiar.
back to my country.
back to chick-fil-a.
and american target.
they have it in canada but it’s not the same.
lots of things aren’t.
i often feel i’m not.
that i don’t breathe as easy here.
feel my head clear.
so i pack up.
throw the younger ones in.
take a girlfriend along too.
and away we set.
and always, this happy little settling inside when i cross the border.
think i’m home.
and it is.
but home changes.
or maybe it’s me.
and i ran to where i thought would be a safe place.
aren’t we always –
looking for shelter?
where to turn?
our husband.
a friend.
a country.
a place.
and it felt all directions i was coming up lacking.
and then my mom says to me – because moms know the struggles we never really verbalize.
“i know you’re looking for a safe place..
you want it to be your husband. you want it here at home..
but amber
there is only one
and God is your safe place.
the strong tower where you must run to find all you’re looking for.”

and her words were for me.
but i thought maybe they might be for you too.
just from a mom’s heart to another.
a sister in Christ.
a friend.
a slight smile and tap on the arm that reminds you the same.

we DO have a safe place.
and it’s name is,  Jesus.

“show me the path of life
in your presence there is fullness of JOY.” ps.16:11


happy monday all you sweet ones who stop in here~

{a life spilling joy}


i woke today feeling overwhelmed with things beyond my control.

i wanted to stay in bed with the pillows over my head.
sometimes giving in is easier.
darkness inviting.

but it is never the way to joy.

joy comes only as i trust that God is bigger and He IS at work.
that He cares. and all He allows is only His absolute love for me.
because He knows best. because He knows what i need.

“may the God of hope fill you with all joy as you trust in Him, so that you overflow.” rom.15

i want that –  a life spilling joy.
but first, i must come to a place trust.

one is the prerequisite to the other.

the position of joy comes only through a posture of trust.


so i got out of bed.
flung the curtains wide.
embraced the light.
chose joy.

chose trust.

“and if trust must be earned hasn’t God unequivocally earned our trust
with the bark on the raw wounds..
the thorns pressed into the brow. your name on cracked lips?
how will He not also graciously give us all things He deems best and right?
He’s already given the incomprehensible.
Christ our crossbeam.

the radical wonder of it stuns me happy. hushes me still.
it’s all Christ.
every moment. every event. every happening.

it’s all Christ and in Christ we are always safe.” -one thousand gifts


“oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord.” ps.40

{sunday sweetness & giveaway winner}



yesterday was good and full.
starting at 6:30 a.m.
heading north to be with shayne’s family for church and lunch.
then a tour of the town daddy grew up in for the kids.
they’ve seen it before but always like hearing his stories.
a romp through a random field in our bare feet.
driving home in the rain.
trying out the new yogurt shop by the lake.
dipping our feet in the water to feel how chilly it was.
taking a walk.
meeting an old man with two birds on this shoulders.
watching the kids all play together.
the two older. the two younger.
the fascinating dynamics of siblings.
finishing the night at the park.
with poutine’s, sweet potato fries and dollar drinks from mcdonald’s.
shayne pushing the little girls on the tire swing.
the older ones sitting at the picnic table by me.
ben says, “I like our family..
we might not have a lot of money to do stuff but we make our own fun.”

i immediately felt a lump in my throat, “aw, ben!”

“well, it’s true,” he went on.
“we just have a good time no matter what. and we laugh a lot.”
then he got that cute little boy grin
that even though he’s not so little anymore, still comes out.
“we’re a cool family!”

now tears are full on brimming..
you have to know. ben doesn’t just say these kinds of things.

“that’s the best mother’s day present right there, bud. what you just said.”

and he smiled, then turned to watch his sisters playing, while i kept watching him.
a moment i’ll remember for a long, long time to come.



on saturday kate took me to a pottery sale and told me to pick out whatever i wanted.
i choose these adorable tiny pots with succulents.

i’ve never had succulents but i’d been wanting some.
i’ll have to google how to care for them so i don’t kill them.
for now i’m just admiring their daintiness.
they’re my new favorite things!


when i came home. ben had made me this arrow from an old pallet.
i had shown him a picture of some and said i would love one.
and i do. it’s perfect.
i’d like three more so i have a set of four.

“as arrows are in the hand of a warrior so are children of thy youth…” ps.127


and the little girls showered me with homemade notes and cards and flowers.

when i asked reese what her card said she took it and in all seriousness began to read-
“i love you mom. you are my favorite. you are my best friend. and i love you.”
of course that’s what those purple swirls said!


my heart just spills right over in thankfulness that i get to be their mom.
every day that thankfulness grows even more.
no matter what – it is so worthwhile.~

i am your mother
you are my child
i am your quiet place.
you are my wild.
i am your calm face.
you are my giggle.
i am your wait.
you are my wiggle.
i am your dinner.
you are my cake.
i am your bedtime.
you are my wide awake.
i am your lullaby.
you are my peekaboo.
i am your goodnight kiss.
you are my “i love you.” -maryann k cusimano

_MG_6299kiddos_MG_6307these42_MG_6306these four

happy monday moms!


AND… the giveaway winner is: sherri
i’ll be emailing you deets!
thanks to all who entered.
let’s do it again SOON. xo

{we love you, moms}

kat and mama
I love my mom because she has more integrity than anyone else I’ve ever met in my life. She is true to what she believes, through and through, and I respect her so much for it.

holly and mama
I love my mom for the personal sacrifices she made for me, not fully comprehended until I, too, became a mom.

my mom and I
I love my mom for her service to others. Putting other’s needs above her own, time and time again.

michelle and mama
I love my mom for the way that she has loved us without limits. Despite every circumstance, the highs and the lows she has never stopped showing us love.

I love my mom because there has never been a day in my life I have not felt loved! With her having Stage 4 Cancer, I do carry a bit of sadness in my heart for the type of relationship I will never have with her – but a lot of joy in my heart as well that I do still in-fact have her here.

laura and mama
I love my mom because of the example she sets as a godly women who loves The Lord.

I love my mom because of her deep passion for God, her sense of humor, and her always perfect skin! We can laugh about the stupidest things that no one else would understand. I’ll count myself lucky if i can ever turn out to be half the Mom that she is.

Mom and I 12-08 copy
I love my mom for how she has taught me to trust the Lord, even in the worst of
circumstances. How to love those who continue to hurt us. How to work hard and laugh
harder (especially at myself!)

sarah and susie
I love my mom {in law} for the way she lavishes Scripture, love, presence, and wisdom upon my life. Christ is clearly her hope of glory. {And for our 1 a.m. Taco Bell feasts!}

I love my mother for the way that she has always believed in me, prayed for me, and spoken blessings over me. I am richly blessed in so many ways because of her.

I love my Mother because she’s the only one who loves my children like I do. she patiently listens. she’s a Godly woman with a tremendous amount of wisdom. she’s scrappy. she is what I strive to be.~selfless~compassionate~bold~faithful~

amber and mama
I love my mom for being grace personified in my life. For being my best friend.

grace and mama
I love my mom for her unwavering commitment to loving and serving her husband and family.

I love my mom because her love for Jesus pours out into my life, and everyone she meets.

I love my mom for teaching me through years of example what it means to PRAY. I love her for allowing my brothers and I to grow up in a family that’s not torn up by unfaithfulness and deceit. I love her for her heart of compassion and kindness for those in need.

cindy and mama
I love my mom for her gentleness.

eastlyn and mama
I love my mom for being undaunted and tender.

mom and sisters
I love my mom for how she taught us four girls by example to honor and respect our husbands because she lives that out, and she taught me to love being a mother because of the way I saw her delight in it.

Mom and I
I love my Mom for being the amazing woman she is. Her laughter from the heart warms every room she enters!

I love my mom for being consistent, for being content & for choosing an attitude of grace. For being faithful & loving Jesus.

jenn and mama
I love my mom because she is the most selfless and caring person I know. We have the best laughs together and she knows what I am thinking without me having to say a word.

robin and mama
I love my mom for being everything that I am not and showing me that differences make the world a better place. I love her smell, the feel of her hands, her smile, her accent, her soft cheeks and the way she makes me feel loved.

I love my mom because she is always there to listen to me and help me through
problems. She is gracious and always tells me everything will be okay.

shannon and mama
I love my Mom for always being there for me.

jenny and mama
I love how my life overlaps with my mom’s on a daily basis. Not in an intrusive, smothering way, but on a way where we don’t need to get “all caught up” each time we see each other.

anna and mama
I love my mom for teaching me what it means to love God and love others.

maddy and mama2
I love my mom because she is always showing me what it looks like to be a woman of Christ. She is always there to care, love and support me in everything.

I love my mom because she’s just as wacky as I am; because she dances and sings to Taylor Swift with me; because she sits with me when there are tornado warnings and I’m terrified.

I love my Mom for always being willing and happy to help others. Her selfless example of service is an inspiration to me and so many others.

emily and mama
I love my mom because when I look at her, I see what the best version of myself would look like. My dream is to be just like her!



{a village that smiles & a mom’s day giveaway}


i love moms!

love mine.
love being one.
love being part of this community.
the craziness.
the comfort.
the comradery.

whoever said it takes a village, sure got it right!
how we need each other.

and our lives spin non-stop most days..
we don’t always have the time we’d like to sit and talk over tea.
but i’ll never forget what an older lady said to me once.
“let your smile say what your words often can’t.”

and i think of that in regards to motherhood.

when i see a mom in the check out lane with her screaming toddler.
that chance i have to just smile an, “i’ve been there,” kind of smile.

or the mom yesterday, sitting in her car next to me in the school parking lot..
holding her coffee cup up in the air and i nodded and smiled back big.
i knew what she was saying.

the mom who’s balancing a baby on her hip, another by the hand,
and one strolling behind.
the mom whose girl is getting married a week from saturday.
the mom who’s heartbroken her son’s turned his back on the Lord.
the mom whose daughter lives 800 miles away.
the mom who just tragically lost her 3-year-old last friday.
the new mom full of nervous excitement.
the old mom with an empty nest.
the moms in heart only.
the moms who wait for us in heaven.

in the busyness of our lives, no matter what..
may we always have time for that understanding smile.
as we pass, whether face to face, or here across this screen.
may we not allow preconceived ideas to cause us to stand back.
assumptions to cloud. or differing opinions divide.
may comparison not steal what we have to offer.
and may jealousy not blind our eyes to who someone really is.
may we simply see moms. just like us. doing the best they can.
clinging hard. carrying on. needing encouragement. needing support.
fellow travelers on this journey, same as us.
and may we take the time, if even ever so briefly,
and if only every now and again, to stop.
to notice that one across the path.

may we be a village known for its smiles.
and may it be contagious!



_MG_1425give away

i’m so happy to be able to do a giveaway in honor of MOMS!
i chose one of my favorite quotes on parenting by beth woolsey~
jana from the chalk shop so beautifully designed it..
and i think she said within a half hour sitting at starbucks! {crazy talented girl}


to enter::

please leave a comment here on the blog
{facebook comments will not be counted, sorry!}
telling me why you love being a mom, or what you love most about yours!

multiples entries accepted for sharing this giveaway on facebook or instagram
{please link to blog on fb or tag me on instagram @ _amberhutchins}

this giveaway is open to all who would like to enter
and will close sunday, the 11th, at 6 p.m.
winner announced monday, may 12th, and will be notified by email.
{please make sure to leave a valid email with your entry}



happy entering and …