First Slide

Finding the JOY

In the JOurneY

If We Only Knew is a powerful illustration of the human connection, all with the same struggles and joys, but each of us with a uniquely significant role of service while we are here on earth. This book offers us a reminder to slow down, open our eyes, release judgment, and simply love one another as we are called to do.

Chapter Overviews

Random Early AM Thoughts from the Delivery Route and Lessons from the Angels that Walk Amongst Us

Worn Out, Weathered, and Surrendered

My favorite jeans have holes in them. If something is too perfect, it makes me nervous. I don’t fully understand it all yet, but I do know I used to love bright, shiny new stuff. And if something looked worn out, I tossed it out. Fear, I guess, that the real me was not good enough…

Broken Down Cars and Driving Scooters

In the dead of winter, with sideways rain and freezing wind, my husband dealt with cruelty that hit him right at the core. And this is how the book was born…

Predicting the Potholes

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Turning the Flashlight

More Soon!

Theme Park Karaoke and Oliver’s Song

More Soon!

Appointments: Missed and Made

More Soon!

Porch Projects, Patience, & Gutting the House

More Soon!

Washing and Being: Hands and Feet

More Soon!

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Samples from the book

Here are some excerpts from If We Only Knew. More to come soon!!

Worn Out, Weathered, and Surrendered

Chapter 1: Worn Out, Weathered, and Surrendered

Early AM {Random} Thought: The soul at peace does not find fault in our humanness, but rather accepts our weaknesses, lifts us up to our potential, and forgives our mistakes because the soul at peace sees God through our cracks and sees himself in us …

What am I even talking about? It’s 4 am, the moon is an awe-inspiring sliver of white, and I am driving on the delivery route. I need more coffee maybe.

I run up to the house, and a picture pops in my mind of a bright, shiny young girl. The girl that was me for a short snippet of time ~ wearing designer clothes, driving a new BMW, had all the answers for everyone. I can’t see her eyes, though. Just a façade, really. I can’t get through. Bright, shiny lost girl chasing something real. Why can’t she catch up? Why won’t anything stick?

And then, she crashes. Not literally, of course. She crashes in a W hotel one day. Her friends there to pick up her pieces as she hides behind Gucci frames and admits to being a complete mess. And it’s liberating. Her friends knew it. She wasn’t fooling them. But she may have been fooling herself. Tears streaming, she completely becomes a puddle, and they love her more (not less) for it. The human connection is beautiful.

Back to the route. Another thought. This time, about things sticking. We have 2 rocking chairs on our front porch. When we bought them, we chose colors that reminded us of our favorite beach in Topsail Island, North Carolina. My husband and I went on our first vacation together there. We also found out we were pregnant with our Lulu and brought her there for her first vacation the following year.

After a couple of years, the colors started to fade a bit. My husband decided to spray the chairs again. They came out bright, shiny orange and teal, just like new. But the paint didn’t stick. It nearly slid right off just a few days later. Come to find out, he didn’t scuff up the chairs before spraying them with the new color. In order for the paint to adhere, it needs to go on a roughed up surface. Interesting. If you just spray the surface, bright and shiny, nothing sticks. Kind of like my younger self. All bright and shiny, searching for something real, and nothing would stick.

Sometimes God needs to rough up our edges, crack our shell, wear us out a bit I guess, and then we can connect for real. The cracks show His light and people are drawn to it. The ridges allow a place for others to grasp on to, and they stick.

END OF SNIPPET OF CHAPTER ONE

Broken Down Cars and Driving Scooters

Chapter 2: Broken Down Cars and Driving Scooters

Early {Random} AM Thought: He gives and takes away. I am grateful for what He gives, yet even more grateful for what He takes away. For it is in the loss that we become found.

It was November 2012. The phone rang, and my husband went on the porch. It was his sister, and I knew something was wrong because I could see my husband’s eyes through the window, they were glassy as he spoke and a single tear fell. It was his mother. It was cancer. It was the last call he expected that day. We all drove up to see her in the evening at my sister-in-law’s house, and the kids played together while the adults talked in low tone about the testing and treatment plans and what would be best, and all the things you think you will never be talking about with your family suddenly become part of the conversation. She had such strength my mother-in-law as she spoke, such a warrior with no fear, just a “we’re going to take care of it” attitude and “let’s get this thing out of me” spirit.

Although my mother-in-law was staying positive, inside my husband was worried. I let him vent and release and cry and be angry at “f-ing cancer”. His mom raised him and his sisters on her own – she worked 3 jobs to make ends meet. My husband respects, adores, and loves his mother very much. When I became friends with Michael, before we began dating, he introduced me to his mother almost right away. I am very close with my mother also, so I have no idea what I’d do if I was in his shoes. I can say I’d be strong, I can say I would stay in the moment present, but that would just be words, because the reality is we really don’t know how we would be unless we are actually experiencing the situation ourselves. I just held space for him to be whatever he needed to be, and prayed hard for my mother-in-law, which in turn gave us a little comfort knowing God is with us all through this.

You have to understand some stuff about my husband. He is an incredible man, but he is also the yin to my yang. We definitely balance each other out. On our first date, he drank beer straight out of the bottle, told me about his absentee father, and why he had tattoos of skulls all over one of his arms and flowers on the other. I think I’ve only had 1 or 2 beers in my lifetime (it’s the taste I don’t like!!), I don’t have any tattoos, but if I did I would tend towards the flowers and dragonflies, so his reasoning for the skulls fascinated me. He believed evil was out there, and better to acknowledge it than not. He told me everyone has a good and a bad side. He said his father was a big part in that lesson for him – evil and “people that suck” exist in this world. Hearing his mother cry at night in her bedroom sealed the deal that he would never be like his father, or cause the pain his father caused his mother. I knew when I met Michael underneath his rough attitude and exterior was a beautiful heart that maybe hardened a little, but he was raw and real and wounded just as we all are, but he wore it like a badge on his body. He spoke of it without reservation. He could care less if anyone was offended by it. I admired his openness.

I get wearing wounds. I wore mine all over my body, too. But in a different way. I wore my wounds in the food I would turn to. I wore my wounds in the food I would deny myself. I wore my wounds in the Gucci sunglasses I spent too much money on. I wore my wounds in my smile that wouldn’t fade no matter what the situation. At this time in my life when I met Michael, I really didn’t have an awareness of the depths of our differences AND our similarities. I just knew he was refreshing to me, and I knew he had a kind heart. We became immediate friends, and just a few short years later we were on that beach in North Carolina finding out about our LuLu. A marriage, some moves from apartment to home to apartment to home again, 2 precious gifts from God, several jobs, 4 birds, and 1 dog later, we have become as close as two people can be. We know each other very well, and although we are best friends, our yin and yang nature can come into play from time to time.

END OF SNIPPET OF CHAPTER TWO

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  • Worn Out, Weathered, and Surrendered

  • Broken Down Cars and Driving Scooters

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About the author

In a Nutshell

I am a writer. speaker. dreamer. foodie. late night blogger. wife. mother. believer {Amen!}….I also love words {spoken and written}. and coffee {probably too much}. and stories. and people. and grace {we all need it some days}…I am born to serve. And I clearly have a kraft brown obsession…I also believe smiles heal.

Loves of My Life

My precious gifts from God {Lulu and Little Man}, my husband, Michael, and my pup Stella are my greatest teachers. You will learn from them too, as many stories about them are included in the book!!

Inspired by Everything

I believe our worth should not be attached to any string: not the size of our jeans, the number on the scale, the amount of money in our bank accounts – we are magnificently made, born for a purpose, children of God…worthy no strings attached.

My Favorite Truth

Be kind and love one another, ’cause we’re all facing some sort of battle, we never know what that might be…