On motherhood: When God calls us to the river


When I first felt God nudging me to write a contemporary story about Jochebed, Moses’ birth mother, I could not have felt more unqualified.

I’ve never given up a child.

I have no experience with crisis pregnancy or adoption or birth mothers.

Though none of my novels have been easy to write, more than ever I felt just like Moses must have when he pleaded with the Lord in Exodus 4:10:

“O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled” (NLT).

Still, the story would not leave my mind.

I knew I had to write it.

I researched birth mothers and read blogs and books they have written. I visited adoption agencies. I talked to adoptive mothers. I read books about crisis pregnancy. Much of what went into Before I Saw You is the result of this research.

However, the heart of Before I Saw You emerged when I realized I had more in common with Jochebed than I originally thought…

click here to read the rest of this blog post, over at Tyndale House Publisher’s Crazy For Fiction site.

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I’m going to Ukraine. In January. January? Yes, January. Here’s why.

i’m going to Ukraine

to answer why’s

but also

to ask them








fluffing pillows of fear

from the


of my home




the way


direct and control


i carry


like a threadbare backpack

allowing perpetrators

to control me




and so

i scratch through the frost



make a window in my heart

to see a new world




to hear




five senses

soaking in redemption

in the land of my ancestors



in a land of beauty

and ashes


and trapped

within generational bars

of fear

fogged windows


with crisis

and despair



i go open palmed

to console

to be consoled

a circular


of hope



Photos courtesy of World Next Door and Mission to Ukraine.

Click here for more stories from this broken, remarkable, beautiful land.


“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

“Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.

“Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.

“Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” 

Romans 12:1MSG