Update on Taylor

Today, I believe in miracles.

I always have, but today? I really, really, really believe.

But rather than give you my take, I’ll just pass on what I know. :)

:) Taylor made it through surgery.

:) Though her tumor was wrapped around several arteries and veins, the doctors got it ALL.

:) Then, they biopsied several areas surrounding where the tumor had been, and ALL BUT ONE came back negative. The other one showed just a microscopic amount of cancer.

:) Four months ago, this little girl was diagnosed with aggressive, Stage 3 neuroblastoma. Next week she’ll hopefully continue her chemo treatments and kick the rest of this thing!

What an amazingly strong, beautiful little girl Taylor is.

What trust and unshakable faith her parents have demonstrated through this journey.

What a miracle-performing, disease-healing, awesome, powerful, sovereign God we serve.

He still does miracles, He still moves mountains.

And we saw that today.

Thank you to each of you who prayed…this family was covered in prayer today.

Praise Him.


Little Blessings (Pt. 52)

:) Laughter with my girl.

:) Perspective…and the insight that can be gained from a rough morning.

:) The chicken dance. (BAIS peeps, do you remember? ;))

:) What the house looks like after three hours of cleaning. (Since the girl is sleeping, we’re guaranteed it will look this good for another ten, too!)

:) Cozy blankets and chick flicks. (Guess what I’m doing tonight?)

:) Blog hopping…love reading my friends’ takes on life and all that God is doing.

:) Early morning 5k PR’s. :)

:) The gift of true friendship.

:) Anticipating a crazy-fun, downtown-5k weekend.

:) Prayer…and a Father Who loves us each so deeply. Please keep the Hall family in your prayers, especially tomorrow. (Tuesday.) I went to college with Julie and Randy; tomorrow, their youngest daughter, Taylor, who is not even two yet, will be having surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her spine. This is a very delicate, risky surgery as the tumor is wrapped around arteries. Please lift up Taylor, the doctors who will be working on her, and her family as they trust God to heal their precious little girl. You can read more of her story here, and if you’d like more updates or information, there is a facebook group called Praying for Taylor. I know they would appreciate your prayers so much. Thanks!

P.S. Wanted to give you a photo…what a beautiful little girl. God holds her in His hands. :)


The Funny Things She Says

Maelie is always full of words…and she says some pretty hilarious things. Today was especially funny.

Here are a few memorable scenes from our day…humor me. :)

So Mae woke up pretty early this morning, and it was still dark out. I moved her downstairs and put her on the couch with her “special pillow” and her purple blanket. As I was tucking her in, she looked up at me, smiled, and whispered, You’re so kind to me.

Oh, melt my heart and make me laugh my head off all at the same time! 😀

After church today, Maelie and I stayed to eat lunch there. (Octoberfest…bring on the brats and kraut! :)) Since Tobin was home sick, we sat with our friends, Jonny and Kris. At one point toward the end of the music (read: live, German, pretty stinkin’ cool music), Kris got up and left. Maelie didn’t notice that she was gone right away, and a few minutes later, looked at me. Do you know where Aunt Kris went?

I told her I didn’t.

Completely dissatisfied with my answer, she ran over to the next table, got Pastor Y’s attention, and said, again, Do you know where Aunt Kris went? I can’t find her!

Good golly…complete sentences like that already…she doesn’t miss a thing! 😉

Perhaps my favorite…and, thus, worthy of being properly documented on the blog was later this afternoon. Tobin went to pick up dinner, and while he was gone, Mae and I were playing upstairs in her room.

Her pretend phone rang. (Ok, ok, so I made it ring. ;)) I answered it, handed it to her, and said, Maelie, who do you think is calling?

She looked at me, gave me that I-know-exactly-who-it-is look, and answered, It’s Jesus! Hi, Jesus!

She then proceeded to have an entire conversation with him, Disney Princesses included.

Oh, I love my girl.

And she will completely love me back one day for this post. HA!



Five-Minute Friday: Voice

Today I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama for Five-Minute Friday.

Join me!

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, overthinking, or backtracking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Voice

I have always loved music.

When I was a little girl, I would sing all the time…make up songs, sing along to my little Fisher Price cassette player, pound out tunes on my mini keyboard and sing along.

My singing voice was very important to me.

I remember my first solo when I was eight years old. I sang some song about a silly camel in our community children’s choir concert.

For a split second I was nervous, but once I heard myself through the microphone, I was all there.

I loved that I was being heard.

Granted, I was eight and very self-centered. More than just my singing voice has matured since then. :)

But the idea of being heard…of having that voice that people listen to…is still a desire.

This blogging community is a unique one.

Each of us use our voices in a different way…and while we won’t always admit it audibly, we want to be heard, just as I did the first time I stood in front of a microphone.

We want those readers and those comments and those people to say, Yes! I get it! I’m totally there with you! This is great.

But for many, these things don’t happen. We can’t all be the writer whose voice is heard by thousands…and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Each time I, or any other blogger, sit down to splash our hearts out, we are using our voices. Someone…somewhere…will listen.

Which makes my voice (and yours!) worth something, even if it’s not always as loud as I would like it to be.

Five Minute Friday


That Place of Rest

I’m one of those people…I’m more secure (or at least I think I am) when things are in my control.

I love my Father, and I say I trust Him, but I know in the depths of this heart how completely difficult that can often be. When something in my life turns topsy-turvy, instead of going to Him with open hands, I clench my fists even more tightly, fighting and flailing, determined to hang on and salvage whatever it is with which I’m struggling.

Because I can do a better job, you know. Better than Him.

Why am I like this? I sometimes scream. (Well, in my head or heart, anyway.)

Recently there’s been a situation I’ve been trying to make sense of. In all of my human perspective, I can’t seem to see any amount of fairness or understanding…or good…in any of it. I’ve talked to my Father about it, but I don’t see any immediate answers from Him, and that does a lot of things to this heart.


A reminder that He is asking me to wait.

More frustration.

More reminders of the good He’s done in past waiting.

Bringing me to a place of honesty with Him…teaching me to admit my weaknesses.

And eventually I get to the point where I start to release that grip.


But my human nature still wants to fight with everything in me and all I’ve got to make sure things turn out as I wish.

Last week a friend and I connected briefly through texting. I asked her to pray for me, and she responded, saying she would and with this verse.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

The image of my Father actually suiting up and going to fight for me made my eyes kinda drippy. Ok, I cried. That’s such amazing love…to realize that when He fights for me, He’s fighting for GOOD. Not evil.

Sometimes things just don’t make sense.

That’s nothing earth shattering to any of you, I’m sure. :)

This particular thing…I’ve been trying to figure it out and can’t understand what good He is possibly doing through it. And yet, it’s right there in that verse…He’ll fight for me if I’ll just let Him.

If I’ll just throw down my weapons and quit trying to fight it by myself…and just simply be.

Embrace the silence.

Be still.

Find that place of rest.

It was such a good reminder for me. And a challenge.

That when I’m in the thick of something that’s hard, I can rest, assured that He is out there doing what He needs to do for the very best outcome.

What complete Love.

I’m blessed to be loved that much. And so are you.


Tuesday 10

I made up the topic today. :)

Ten of My Favorite Things About Mae
(Today, anyway…there are a lot more. :))

10. She plays hide and seek…and it adds so much laughter to our days.
9. Her imagination is exploding. You know she’s soaking up things when her Care Bears get put in time out. :)
8. She loves everyone and is always happy to give hugs.
7. She gives me the biggest smile every morning when I get her up.
6. She loves all things girly…pink, sparkles, princesses, purses. (Proud mama moment!)
5. She has the cutest poofy pigtails ever.
4. Her smile always lights up the room.
3. She’s learning to pray and has the faith of a child…as evidenced by the fact that last night she prayed for her family and friends and for the Disney Princesses. :)
2. She has the most tender, compassionate heart.
1. She says, “I love you, Mommy,” every night.


Current Favorites

This is a fun one. I did it ages ago…we’ll see if my answers have changed. :)

  • Ice Cream Flavor: it sounds so good, I could go for anything right now! Something chocolate. :)
  • Sport: running, volleyball
  • Season: still fall :)
  • Hobby: crocheting, painting :)
  • Song: I have a lot right now. Probably Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting. Such a beautiful picture of life for me right now.

  • Band: Um???
  • Female artist: Mandisa, Kari Jobe
  • Male artist: Mark Schultz
  • Place to Hang Out: still coffee shops! Coffee, anyone?
  • Musical: still WICKED!
  • Book: Just got my hands on The Kite Runner and A Secret Kept. (Thanks, SS!) Can’t wait!
  • Color: orange/gray/lime green; brown/lime green/cream
  • Animal: still my golden retrievers! Love them and the crazy they add to life. :)
  • Food: pizza (pretty sure that one might never change!)
  • Drink: um, coffee? Duh… 😉 Diet Pepsi comes in at a close-ish second.
  • Subject in School: English
  • Flower: daisy
  • Veggie: eggplant (yeah, I know I’m weird)
  • Fruit: jeruk bali (from Indonesia…kind of like a grapefruit)
  • Music: praise and worship
  • Store: tough one…lately, Goodwill…so many fun possibilities! :)
  • Day of the Week: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday…all of them?
  • Number: don’t really have a favorite :) Though the number 17 seems to have had a repetitive significance in my life.
  • Movie: Confessions of a Shopaholic, Steel Magnolias
  • Pizza Topping: pineapple and roasted red peppers. (Yes, together. I’m weird. :))
  • Fast Food Restaurant: Chipotle
  • Vacation: probably still Bali…love me some sunshine and surfing!
  • Dessert: cheesecake…mmm, cheesecake.
  • TV Show: Um, TV? What’s that??? Kidding…I just don’t watch many shows. You know, it’s probably Little House on the Prairie. How can anyone NOT love Ma and Pa and Mary and Laura?
  • Place: Wherever I am. Really, really blessed that God brought us here. :)

What about you? If you’ve got time, leave your faves in the comments!

Happy Monday! :)


Coffee Thoughts


A bunch of scattered thoughts.

Coffee, definitely.

And sleep, early. Hopefully. :)

Yes, I am completely aware of what an insane oxymoron those last two lines were. 😉

I was realizing that over the last two weeks, most of my posts have been somewhat shallow. I hope that those of you who read here often know that’s really not me. It’s not, I promise…and I’ll always tell you that one of the things I really can’t stand is superficial.

It’s just that sometimes it’s so hard to be deep when life feels so upside-down.

I can’t go into it tonight. Maybe I’ll share part of it later…I’m just processing a lot and waiting on God for answers. Not easy, especially when the emotional, dramatic tendencies tend to so easily take over my thoughts and days, making things often seem bigger than they are.

I beat myself up for feeling things I do and for not having answers.

That’s basically the drawn-out description of the word, Wait. (You know, that thing I do so well.) 😉

It seems like more often than not, my plans tend to not turn out just as I’ve pictured them. Really, I think we could all say that. I’m human…something I especially rock at. 😉

It’s so hard for me to give things completely to God. I want to, but in my prideful, less-than-thinking-of-others moments, I get it in my head that I can somehow do a better job.

All of those really scattered pieces to say…I’m thankful. For a God who takes me…in all of my wandering and flailing and fighting…and loves me unconditionally. What an encouragement to my heart to know that He can take something of the mess I am and make it beautiful.

And, honestly, after the last year or so, I’m expecting something pretty amazing. I love that He can do that.

More importantly, that He will.

So now that I’ve been a little less shallow… :)

Life is…life.

With a two year-old, it seems that it’s always an adventure. We are in the thick of No way! and Go away! and I find myself wondering what happened to my parenting and my daughter. Our days are filled with so many wonderful moments and memories I’ll hold forever, yet one solitary incident leading to a temper tantrum which then leads to a time-out can ruin a good part of a day.

I know she’s two. (It’s what everyone tells me.) 😉

I know she won’t always fight me when I force her to take off her princess jammies. (You know, the ones she’s worn for a consecutive twelve days.) 😉

I know we’ll both grow through these mother/daughter battles and emerge with a stronger bond.

Because I know she’s two. And I’ll blink and she’ll be sixteen.

I’ve tried to focus on the joys that make up a day. I can honestly say that each night when I sing to her and pray with her, I fall in love just a little more. The frustrations of things melt away, and my heart feels so full I think it’s going to burst.

She truly is such a big part of my JOY. :)

She also starts gymnastics this week, which we are BOTH excited about. I think she’ll love it. And hopefully she’ll quit doing somersaults off the end of the couch. 😉

I’ve been good with running this past week, and though it’s sometimes-tough to drag myself out of bed so early, I’m always glad I did it. My goal this week is 20 miles. (Gosh no, not all at once!) I’m slowly upping my distance, though, and it feels good.

Now I just need to quit making dessert.

I made this today. It’s one of my favorites, and it was so amazing. (I sent some to our dear friends across the street because I knew I’d eat it all if we kept it.)

My other downfall is this. (Which I cannot seem to find on the internet. But go look in the freezer section of your grocery store…I promise it’s there.) Thank you SO much, Cool Whip, for taking two of my very favorite things and throwing them together into one container of gooey, yummy-ness. (Hope you could sense the dripping sarcasm there…)

Cool Whip frosting…no cake required. (I can so see myself doing a commercial for them, can’t you? ;))

Well, I should head toward bed. Early morning tomorrow, and I definitely need to be up to run off all of that frosting…

Hope you all had a great weekend. 😉


Five-Minute Friday: Look

Today I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama for Five-Minute Friday.

Join me!

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, overthinking, or backtracking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Look

I’ll never forget the day.

The day that I. Just. Couldn’t. Look.

We’d been downtown shopping for jewelry supplies. It was the rougher part of town…the part where you’d see far too many children begging and the people who’d miraculously survived debilitating conditions…and he was one of them.

This man…the one I couldn’t bear to look at.

We’d just finished our purchases at the final store and were heading back to catch the city bus.

He was sitting…somewhat slumped…against the edge of a cracked and rotting pillar.

I’m sure I gasped audibly, for he was damaged. Scarred for life. Perhaps a fire or explosion. Whatever the case, it was bad.

And I just couldn’t look…couldn’t allow myself to see past his scars.

It broke my heart and made me question my Father at the same time.

Why him? Why? WHY, WHY, WHY???

He needed money, and my heart ached…shame mingled with sorrow…as I passed him by.

Not allowing myself to look.

I prayed for the next week, unable to shake his image from my mind.

For some reason we were back in the same area of town the following Saturday. I knew he would be there.

And he was.

And though it hurt and made the tears drip as I allowed myself to look at him, I reached into my purse. Took a bill large enough to feed him for the day. Gave it to him, making sure that my hand made contact with his. Whispered, God bless you. In English, not Indonesian.

A quiet, terima kasih, uttered from his lips.

And that was it.

A small moment of time, but a very powerful lesson.

The lesson that no matter who we are, where we come from, or what we look like, we all deserve to be noticed. Loved. Cherished.

I hope all of these things for this man.

Five Minute Friday


Just What’s Up

Gonna be short-ish tonight.

I can’t believe how tired I’ve been this week, and I have the best of intentions to actually get up and run tomorrow morning. 6:30ish early because if I go any later, then I see too many people. And though I’m sure I impress people with my astounding speed and form?

HA. HA. (Just clarifying.) 😉

Pretty during my morning run, I am not. :)

But I really need to get myself up and do a few miles. Because of this.

Yeah, it’s a whopping two weeks away, and I’ve slacked so much lately that I’m only pulling about a 28/29 5k. Would really like to run this one in the 27’s or even the 26’s, so we shall see. I’ll be bonding with early mornings until then. (And downing copious amounts of caffeine to make up for the lost sleep.) 😉

My awesome Bible study group…I seriously love these women. And I finally have a picture of us, so here y’all go. (Well, it’s most of us…the group has changed some.) And I don’t own the picture but pretty sure no one’s going to care if I post it here. Anyway, we started a new book today, Unglued. I love it…the author is just so good. So REAL…which I need right now. Plus, she writes like a blogger and tells funny stories that make me say, Hey, I’m totally there with you. (Admits the girl who had an “unglued” moment right before she walked out the door for Bible study this morning. Oy…)

All that to say, I’m really looking forward to it. :)

So Maelie watches Veggie Tales before she goes to bed. She loves them, and I still find them entertaining. (A few, I even really love.) This particular silly song is SO me and Mae…already. Cracks me up every time. 😀

Enjoy! And, g’nite, all! (No pun intended.) 😉