I am working on unpacking our new home, it's bringing so much emotion to the surface, but giving me a good focus as well. Lot's of memories in these boxes. Good memories.

Rebuilding slowly.

Do you remember the picture wall we finally acomplished at our old house? You know, the one we put up about two weeks before we had to move? Ya, that one. Well, now it's going back up. Aaron doesn't know yet that any and all of our spare time in the evenings will be devoted to this until it's done. ;)

Chicken stock has been bubbling away on the stove. The smell reminds me of fall. Of laughter around the dinner table. Of a big, healing hug. Of nourishing my family with goodness. It reminds me of who I used  to be. I want to get back there.

Who knew chicken soup really is good for the soul?

Pictures of home projects tomorrow.

xo, Jo


We have had company since Thursday; two different families of dear friends, reminding us of what our normal used to be. Reminding me how to laugh, how to seek, how to have joy. Lot's of 'remember whens.'

Everyone has left now and I'm already forgetting. These feelings; the pain, the heartache, the shame. All back. And all too familiar.

These past days, I felt like I was watching an old home movie of happy and functioning me. I felt hopeful. I smiled. Now the movie is over. The credits have passed and I'm back to facing this dark empty screen by myself wondering how to rewind.

I think...I know that is my problem. I'm just stuck. I need to move forward and don't know how. I'm not who I used to be.

It's an odd feeling being around strangers right now. Going to the grocery store. Getting gas. Teaching classes. Getting a coffee.

I feel like I should have some huge life threatening gash or hemorrhage...something that reflects how I'm feeling inside.

That is the beauty and nightmare of emotional pain. It hurts so badly you feel like you should be on life support. Then, when you want to be anonymous, you can slip on a pair of sunglasses, walk with purpose....and be normal. Happy.

All while being quite the opposite.

I'm back to the simple basics. Reading scripture one verse at a time. Praying that God would teach me to pray again. In some ways meeting God for the first time. Getting to see pieces of His heart I never knew about. Discipline is hard to learn.

As I read back over my posts I think 'Man, what a downer, this isn't fun to read.' I hope I can get back to the beauty, joy, laughter, love and light that God has designed me to be filled with. There are little reminders of this in each day.

Reminders from last week:

(from my phone for now, I have more from my camera)

Naps with an Angel

This little sweetness makes me smile. Little moments like this remind me of hope.

xo, Jo


Feeling so broken. Alone. Ashamed. The pain is so physically real that my heart hurts and I can't breathe.

A friend asked me last night 'What is holding you back from giving all of you to God?' My answer was 'I'm not worthy. I don't deserve it.'

She said 'You're right, you don't deserve it. None of us do. And what a perfect time to give yourself to Him. Know Him. Draw close to Him. Study His word.'

God knew what my life would be, the choices I would make, the ways I would suffer, the ways I would hurt others, the things that would bring me joy.

He knew the moment I would turn my back on him and the day that I would come crawling back with my head hung in shame.

He knew it all. And still gave me life. Still died for my sins. All of them.

So where do I start? How do I rebuild? How to I pick up the pieces of this wreckage? And when will this pain stop?

I don't know how to follow anymore.

I could sit and stare for hours right now while my mind replays and remembers. I did this.

There is an empty piece of land here that overlooks the city. No one knows where it is. That's what I tell myself anyway. I've been going there to sit in the quiet.

To breathe. To cry. To be angry. Just to be. The silence is so loud sometimes. I think it's good.

Distraction masks these thoughts and feelings and the silence forces me to face them.

'In repentance and rest you shall be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.'
Isaiah 30:15

xo, Jo

River Time

Some close friends from our old home made the drive down to see us. They have four lovely kiddos the same ages as ours- such a welcomed distraction right now. I told them my mind is too foggy to make decisions right now, so my girlfriend is taking that on and planning the day.

Today we are going down the river. So much peace on the water.

Two mamas, 8 kiddos...yes 8, all under 10...did I just say peace?

I'm bringing my camera, putting on my river girl shoes and swimming suit and am determined to smile today.. even with this weight and ache that makes me want to crawl into a dark hole. Sunshine and light instead.


Pictures later.

xo, Jo


Have you heard this song? I'm clinging to it right now. I hear the words and want so desperately to believe them. Most of me does. Part of me doesn't want to.

Grace can be painful to recieve.

I am feeling so weak these days. My heart is aching. I'm trying desperately to distract my mind from the pain, but nothing works for long. It comes in waves...about every few minutes.

I know my words are confusing. You're probably wondering what's up. Maybe one day I'll get there and share with you all. For now, I need this space to process. Bear with me.

I took some pictures today, I'll add them tonight.

xo, Jo

Finding me

I'm slowly starting to come back around. I feel like I'm stuck in the aftermath of a tornado.

Standing in the wreckage. Wanting to rebuild and not a clue of where to start.

I am starting here.

Choosing to focus on the my beautiful babies. On my marriage. On my neglected love for God.

Writing and photography has always been an outlet for me. A way to get these thoughts, dreams, fears and questions out. To focus on beauty and hope.

I've brushed the dust off of this camera and my typing fingers are ready. Little glimpses of me are starting to appear.

More to come tomorrow.

xo, Jo