Friday, October 31, 2008

Leave it to Grandma to surprise me

My mom can whip up any costume on short notice. It's a gift she has.

Meet my kitty, Olivia. She's a good kitty. She's pretty happy most of the time.

But shes even happier when you give her milk!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lullaby & Goodnight

A new routine has snuck up on us over the past week. After bath, books, bottle and blankie, Olivia knows what comes next. She reluctantly lays her head on my shoulder and waits for me to carry her upstairs, saying "It's sleepy-bye nigh-nigh time." Then I lay her in her crib, tell her I love her, and tip-toe out.

But for the past week, she's made a tiny little protest when I step out. She does the same thing for Joel. Its as if she needs one more really good hug and snuggle before she calls it a day. So we pick her up, snuggle her close, and sing a little song.

My songs include "ABC's" (she loves it) and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" (same melody as ABC's, therefore she loves it). Sometimes I pull out the songs my mom used to sing to me, and I find that my grown-up voice sounds much like hers did when she was my young mama and I was her young baby. Then my heart feels full, as I realize how much God has blessed me, when I look at my curly haired little toddler who wants to cuddle for "just five more minutes."

So last night, Joel took his turn to sing Olivia her bedtime encore. He's much more creative then me, and sometimes I hear him humming tunes by Radiohead and I am reminded once again that my husband is much cooler than I am. Last night, though, he was up there for more than five minutes and Olivia was still fussing a bit. I went up, took over, and he went downstairs. I sang "I love you, a bushel and a peck..." she said "gan" so I repeated it, and then it was lights out.

I went downstairs and Joel said "you win the prize for picking the right song" and I giggled and asked him what went wrong with his encore.

He continued to type at the computer, straight-faced and almost hurt: "She didn't like my version of God Bless America."

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Right before Joel and I got engaged, I started surfing the Internet to find wedding photographers. Read: I did not have a ring yet. I was just hopeful one would be coming soon. Read: I kept asking Joel to propose to me. :-)

Back to the photographers - I knew the number one most important detail about my wedding planning would be the photographer. The pictures would represent the memories which would last a lifetime. So I scoured the net and found a little something called One Thousand Words Photography. Angie and Ashley are the masterminds behind the operation - and we booked a meeting at Diva Espresso. The conversation quickly turned from business to personal, as we found out we were all pretty much the same age and shared the same interests and had our faith in common.

I remember the looks on their faces when I started talking about wedding photos and they didn't see a ring on my hand. "It's coming..." I said with a smirk. I booked them then and there.

A year later, the wedding took place and there were my girls. They felt more like friends at that point, and I found myself wanting them IN my pictures rather than taking them.

A few months after the wedding, when I found out Joel and I were expecting, you can guess who I called. Turns out, Angie found out she was expecting about a month later - and we were both having girls!

Now here is where the story gets good. Ashley and her husband Luke were also ready to start a family. In fact, they'd been ready for a while and with each passing month, the fact that it wasn't happening was beginning to transition from "maybe it's just going to take a while" to "maybe this isn't going to happen."

Ashley went to several fertility doctors. She took several medications and read even more books and changed her diet and the list goes on. As my belly grew, and Angies belly grew, Ashley continued to wait. Ashley attended my baby shower and threw one for Angie and celebrated with us. She took maternity photos and we spoke about names and unwrapped pink outfits and prepared our little nests, and although I prayed and prayed that she would get pregnant, the months went on.

Olivia was born in December, and it only took me a few days after returning from the hospital to realize I was in bad shape. Although my body was healing physically, I was an emotional mess. Fear had overtaken me and lack of sleep made it worse. My parents had suggested someone called a Doula, who is basically a mothers helper. The literal translation, I believe, means slave. I add this in only because of what came next.

For the few months prior to me delivering Olivia, Ashley had been taking classes to become a doula. She still did photography, but her love for children and people and just her general wonderfulness had pushed her in this direction. Is it any wonder than in the hour of my greatest need, I called Ashley and asked her for some references.

The conversation went something like this: "Ashley, I need you to refer me to someone who can come help me. Do you know anyone in your Doula classes?" Ashley responds, "Sarah, I can do it."

The next morning, the doorbell rang, and in comes Ashley to my home. Unshowered and completely drained, I gave her a tearful hug. She made me breakfast - everyday I asked for Cream Of Wheat. I hadn't eaten that since I was, like, 7 years old, but it's what I asked for each morning. She did laundry and cleaned and cooked and held Olivia so I could shower.

Here is a woman of noble character. Her deepest desire is to have a child of her own, and with each month that passes, I knew her heart broke a little more. And yet here she was, serving me, at my lowest point. Whats more, she never judged me for having a difficult time with Olivia. Sometimes I would wonder "Does she think I'm just a fool? Here I have a healthy baby with no complications - everything is blessed - and yet all I do is cry?" All Ashley did was love on me. Day by day, she helped me pull it together.

After about 3 or 4 weeks of our new routine, I was starting to become myself again. Ashley continued to show up, every morning. It was getting close to Angies due date, and Ashley began juggling between me and Angie - any day we expected "the call" that Angie was in labor. The excitement was building - and one morning, Ashley and I were sitting in the livingroom and she told me she wasn't feeling so hot. Her body was sort of achy, she was tired, and emotional. She was very honest when she said "It's like a trick. I feel this way, and my heart feels a pang of hope that I might be pregnant, that this might be the month...and then when it's not, it just feels like a cruel joke that I even felt this way in the first place." A cruel joke indeed. My heart ached. "Jesus," I silently prayed. "Bless her."

I'll never forget the next morning. I was downstairs, sitting on the couch. I could hear footsteps coming to the front door, and Ashley (who by now had a key) let herself in. She was on the phone, and her voice was high and the talking was fast. "I'll call you back! Bye!" she said. Footsteps up the stairs. She locked eyes with me in the hallway. They were filled with tears.

A smile spread across her face, slowly. And then the two words that I'd waited for so long to hear from her came out. "I'm pregnant."

Meet Luke and Ashleys daughter, Lilly. She is a miracle from the hand of God.

And now that you know a little more about Angie and Ashley, enjoy the photos from all of us at the pumpkin patch. The last one is me holding Angies second baby, Zoe. For anyone who wonders when Joel and I are going to go for number 2, well, just know that holding Zoe in that snuggly little wrap brought back all my desires for a new baby again. So I wouldn't be surprised if its not much longer. You hear that, Joel?

Here are our poster children for vegetables

Eva and Olivia

Snuggle up

Mama and Me



Run Like The Wind

Baby Zoe

This picture cracks me up because Angie had her hands full with a purse, a huge camera, and baby Zoe, as she chased after Eva. I said "Can I take something to help you out?" She said sure, so I took the only thing I really wanted to take. Baby Zoe. I left her with the purse and the camera and the toddler. Its the way I roll.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On Saturdays, We Bake

I adore the smell of pumpkin, which is why I dig October and November so much. Saturdays like this were just made for baking. And since I'm headed to the Tenth Avenue North concert tonight (come join me! Tickets at the door!) I figured I'd bake the guys some pumpkin goodness, because heck, I'm domestic.

This recipe is best because the cookies come out tall and uneven, almost like a scone. Makes four dozen. Thanks to Lynette for the recipe!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 cups ap flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)(I prefer Libbys)
1 pkg chocolate chips

Cream together shortening, butter, sugar, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix in flower, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add pkg of chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, do NOT over bake. Makes 4 dozen.

And yes, that's correct, there are no eggs in this recipe. I think the pumpkin has some "leavening" ingredient or something that doesn't need eggs. Is leavening even a word? I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Warning: Once you make these cookies and share them with friends, you will then be known as the Pumpkin-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Lady and every fall people will say to you "Hey, __insert your name here__, when are you gonna make some of those cookies for me again!" You've been warned.

And yes, Olivia helped bake. Here we are.

And yes, I wear Spirit 105.3 T-shirts all the time.

And no, I don't let her sit on the counter unattended.

And yes, she did dip the cup in the sugar and then sprinkle it on the counter when I wasn't looking.

And no, I hadn't taken a shower yet when these pictures were taken.

And yes, I plan to go take one right now. :-)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Walk With Me

It began at a crosswalk, I think.

In high school, half of our school was on one side of the street, and half was on the other. So to get from class to class, often you'd cross back and forth multiple times a day.

My husband Joel said the first time he ever saw me was on that crosswalk. He was driving there to pick up his brother (in my same grade).

"Who's that?" said Joel.

"Sarah." said his brother Neal. And off they drove.

A few weeks later, Joel asked me out on my first real date. Sure, I'd dated other guys before him, but it was different. Those guys said things like "Do you wanna hang out?" and then we'd end up in a group at some friends house with chips and salsa and pizza and we'd all sit on the couch and watch television. Not really a date, but what more do you expect from a 16-year-old guy? To them, "lets hang out" was pretty romantic.

Not for Joel. Joel was 18 when he asked me out, I was 17. He took me to a Sonics game. I didn't have the heart to tell him basketball bored me to tears. Instead I saw a guy who drove a cool car and had cute dimples and he was asking me somewhere and the words didn't begin with "uh, do you wanna hang out?" Instead, it was something more proper, like, "Hi Sarah. I'm Joel. Can I pick you up on Friday and take you on a date?"

My heart skipped a beat.

Joels mom and dad raised him well. Joel was homeschooled (yes, I tease him about it sometimes, but honestly I think it has shaped him to be the amazing man he is today) and he seemed more mature than other guys his age. He was polite. He opened the car door. He made casual conversation that wasn't awkward. He offered to buy my concessions at the game. He made even a hot dog and a Diet Coke romantic, simply because he ordered, paid and brought it to me. He anticipated my needs. Other than my father, I'd never met another man that did such things. And we were only teenagers!

Joel and I only dated a few times in high school, maybe three real dates or something. One night, he walked me to the door to say goodnight and leaned in and kissed me. I remember him walking back to his car and I walked through the door, only to close it behind me and lean back against it and smile one of the biggest smiles I'd ever known.

As much as I liked him though, I was only 17 and I was interested in playing the field. (If I only knew then what I know now!) After those few dates in high school, Joel and I lost track of each other completely. Years went by.

Sometimes I would think of him when I'd come across an old note I'd saved, or when a shiny black Honda Prelude would drive by. Sometimes I'd accidentally run into him at Nordstrom (where he worked) or I'd see him from a far. Our social circles would cross every now and then, and through the grapevine I'd hear what he was up to. And then I'd remember that kiss...

Flash forward a few more years. I found myself at some worship service at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle. To this day, I can't for the life of me remember who I went with or why I was there, but I saw Joel's brother Neal in the pew and someone whispered to me in a low tone: "Did you hear? About their mom?"

Kathy had been diagnosed with cancer. My heart broke in that instant for their whole family. I'd remembered Kathy from high school days. She was an excellent quilter and had made some amazing quilts for our class and for the auction. My mom had even worked with her on some and commented on how great she was. Although I didn't know Kathy well, I knew enough to understand that she was an amazing wife, mother and friend.

I didn't know if I should say anything to Neal. Would the words "I'm sorry" even do? Should I call Joel? I stayed silent, but prayed whenever their family crossed my mind.

Then the day came in October (months and months later) and an email showed up in my box. Kathy had passed away.

In an instant, I felt this surge of compassion for their family, and although I hadn't seen them in YEARS, I knew I wanted to attend that memorial. I called my mom and asked if she would go with me. "Of course," she said.

The church was packed. Family from out-of-town, dozens of firefighters from Snohomish County where Joels dad works, all there to honor Kathy's life. Her quilts were hung on display up front and around the church, including a Sonics quilt she'd made that Gary Payton (her favorite) had offered to buy from her. She said no. :-)

My mom and I found a spot in the back row and took a seat. The picture on the cover of the memorial handout was of Kathy and her first grandson, Griffin. I am so thankful she was able to see her first grandchild born. I know he brought her such joy in that last year. He was actually born at the same hospital where she was receiving chemo. I can almost picture her, getting done with that dose and then heading down the hall to see Griffin enter the world. Pretty much the only thing to take your mind of cancer is a new grandchild! And God knew it!

When the service was over, I found Joel through the crowd. He looked so handsome in his suit, and yet there was no reason to celebrate being dressed up on this day. For one moment, I became incredibly self-conscious. What right did I have to come to this memorial? I didn't know Kathy very well, and I hadn't seen any of her kids in years. Are they going to be offended that I had the nerve to come? I dismissed the thought and trusted that God had me there for a reason. I thought the reason was simply to show support to their family and honor Kathy's life. I didn't realize that in that moment, as I walked toward Joel, we were being reunited and this time, it wouldn't fade away.

I don't remember what we said to each other. I don't remember if I hugged him or not. I do remember exchanging phone numbers and I do remember him calling.

"Hi Sarah. Its Joel. Can I pick you up and take you out on a date?"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Am I the only one?

My car dashboard has had the "!" burned-out blinker light on for about 6 months now.

I'm beginning to consider doing something about it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pre-Pumpkin Patch

Olivia and I are planning a trip to the Pumpkin Patch with our friends, Angie and Ashley. But that's not 'til the end of the month. So we figured we'd get familiar with the pumpkins outside the grocery store first. Good thing Grandpa came along for the photo op!

I get to be related to them

I know. They are beautiful people.

Inside and out! Meet Amy, my sweetest & bestest friend. And meet Neal - my brother-in-law. They are engaged to be married - and I'm so excited!

Neal is my husbands brother. He was the best man at our wedding. Amy was my maid of honor.

For their wedding in April, Joel gets to be best man and I get to be maid of honor.

Do you see how cool this is????

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

For Kenna & Lee

Until last night, I didn't even know there was a day like this. But thanks to Angie (link to the left), I know know that today (Oct 15th) is the National Day of Remembrance for Pregnancy and Infant Loss. This includes all babies who have died because of miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or any other infant death.

My friends, Kenna and Lee, who previously worked at Spirit and who I love dearly, lost their first baby less than a month ago. Kenna was 7 months pregnant, went in for a routine ultrasound, and there was no longer a heartbeat. I got a text from her asking for prayer, as she had to go to the hospital and deliver her daughter, who had already passed away. Her husband Lee stood by her side, and together they went through a weekend of every emotion you could ever imagine, to eventually deliver their daughter, Bennett Taydem Stoops, on Sunday, Sept 21st, 2008.

There are no sufficient words I can express reguarding the loss of a child.

I can, however, honor the memory of Bennetts life. I do my best to call or text Kenna and Lee often. If they only knew how often I think of them. I wish I could take just a tiny bit of the pain off their shoulders to make it more managible for them.

Today, I remember Bennett. Perhaps you are remembering your child, or the child of a friend. I encourage you to reach out today.


The Daily Verse

I subscribe to something called "The Daily Verse" and I get one each morning in my email. What I love most about it is that the gal who runs it, Kat, puts a little "nugget" of commentary below the verse, basically commenting on what it means to her. That gets my mind rolling and I find I take a bit more time to let the Word sink in. Heres todays:

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:34

Then Kat Comments:
Does the majority of your anxiety come from what is going on right now, or what you anticipate to come? I know that I’m at fault of the later – giving into anxiety about the future and not giving any thought to what the Lord might be trying to show me right now.

You can sign up, too:
AND if you like getting a verse on your phone, Spirit Text Messaging gives you the Bible Verse of the Day. Just text "Bible" to 23754.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Afternoon Walk

Olivia strolls with the neighborhood ladies to catch up on the days events. Only she doesn't know standard protocol is to stay on the sidewalk. Meghan tries to get her to come back, but Olivia only listens to GrannyNanny (holding the camera.)
Get back on that sidewalk, there, little Livi!

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Look

Yep, new look :-) Thanks to Shera for the makeover! She's the owner of Shera is a mother to 6 kids (including twins!) and a scrapbook lover - but ran out of time to scrapbook (remember, 6 kids) so she started to blog. I just love the new look. Thank you so much!

Also, a few posts ago I told you I would be reading "Same Kind Of Different As Me." Correction. I've finished it. It was one of the most powerful stories I've ever read. I can not recommend it highly enough.


Friday, October 10, 2008


I wish I could say I'm THIS dedicated to my job, but I'm not.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Swing. Yeah. Swing. Yeah

as documented by GrannyNanny.

Currently Reading

Remember in high school, when you were forced to read whatever novel the teacher picked out in English class? The paperback would sit in my backpack and I would wait until the absolute last possible minute to open it up before the report was due. And even then, I'd grab the Cliffs notes.

I think that was the first reason I was turned off from reading. It felt like an assignment, not a privilege. Like a chore.

The other reason I was turned off from reading had to do with the fact that it made me sleepy. Sometimes I wouldn't know how to fall asleep and I'd always heard the suggestion "read a book." Lights out.

It's taken me a while to get back in the habit of enjoying a book. TV is so much easier, isn't it? Until recently when I realized there is nothing on. Ever. Except for The Office (tonight). But other than that, nothing.

So after I'd exhausted all my other resources (Lucky magazine, my pink Nintendo DS with Brain Age, various online games at MSN like Diner Dash) I decided my new hobby would be reading. Most recently I ordered Nicholas Sparks "The Lucky One" off It was good, but not "Notebook" good. Now I've begun "Same Kind Of Different As Me" at the recommendation of some radio friends. The first one they suggested was The Shack, which I loved. I'm into fictional stories that highlight faith.

Wanna read "Same Kind Of Different As Me" together? I know I'm not Oprahs book club or anything, but it's kind of fun to discuss. I'm on chapter 4 as of today, so you'll need to catch up. :-) Oh, and we don't read on Thursdays, because, you know...The Office.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

If you read nothing else...

So I've posted about her before, but it's been a while. So here we go again.

About 6 months ago, I read a story online. Ok, so it was on Celebrity Baby Blog. Yes, a guilty pleasure of mine to find out what shoes Violet Affleck is wearing today. The website exists. Deal with it. Anyway, I read a story that changed my life... on Celebrity Baby Blog.

It was the story of Audrey Caroline Smith. She is the daughter of Todd & Angie Smith. Todd Smith is in the group Selah. We play Selah on Spirit 105.3, perhaps you would be most familiar with their cover of "God Bless the Broken Road." I digress.

Angie Smith has candidly and honestly and purposefully shared the story of their sweet Audrey, and in turn opened up her heart to all of us. If you read nothing else today, read the story: Bring The Rain In fact, if you never read my blog again, thats ok. I don't care. As long as you read Angies words. They are that powerful.

To give you a little perspective, some blogs have "followers." I, for example, have four. (Thank you, my precious four.) Angie, in turn, has 571.

The link I gave you (above) will help you start at the beginning of the story. Once you read the first post, you'll need to navigate your way through the blog to read the rest of the posts, in reverse order. It's worth it. Do it tonight.


I need an intervention

I'm officially addicted! It started the other day, when Matt Case (mid-days here at Spirit) mentioned that all the candy in the vending machine was on "sale." I guess we were getting new inventory and prices were being slashed. I rooted through the bottom of my purse and found a few quarters, and before I knew it, I'd bought a few boxes of these refreshing mints.

I can't stop. I've been eating them for a few days now (and have made a few trips back to the snack closet) and the mints are all gone. I was like "Aw, bummer...." and didn't think much of it until later that night when I went to the grocery store and saw the Halloween size boxes of Junior Mints at the front of the store. It said 5 bags for 10.00, so I did just that.

Next day at work, Matt Case sees my Halloween sized bags. He laughed out loud. I can't stop. I'm one step shy of this:

Remember that episode?

Wikipedia describes Junior Mints as "a candy consisting of small rounds of mint filling inside a dark chocolate coating." What they fail to note is the highly addictive factor of these tiny candies.

She gots da fever

Poor little Livvy.

She's been down and out for a few days, with a pretty nasty cold. Lots of coughing and a temperature around 102. Joel calls her "hot head." :-) Joel is the best daddy ever, taking time off from work to stay home with her so I can still be here at Spirit (because my co-host is in...ahem...Hawaii.) Thats right. Tom is in Hawaii so I am holding down the fort this week... meanwhile Joel and Olivia are home watching daytime TV and staying hydrated. Poor little girl.

I have decided to blame it all on Tom. :-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Swingin' & Slidin'

Take this, Mom!

So I'm at work, minding my own business.

Ping! An email comes in from my mom.

"Oh," I wonder, "What kind, sweet, loving thing does my mom have to say to her daughter today?"

I open the email with anticipation.

It reads:


Do you welcome, or roll your eyes, when your Teacher-Mom points out a typo on your blog?

experience (a few posts below) as in "Maybe this is just the nudge you need to break free from the routine. All the day-to-day stuff can weigh on us. I speak from expierence here. I can't wait to hear your stories and worship along with you."

Love, Mom

I'm laughing so hard. Once a teacher, always a teacher. I feel like my mom just graded my assignment with a red pen.

Know what, Mom? I'm leaving my typo!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

More To Come

Olivia says: "I've got curls for days."

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Granddaddy Visit

Olivia has several grandpas. She has my dad, Steve, who we call "Grandpa." And my step-dad, Kevin, who Olivia affectionately named "Po" as in, Grandpo. And Joels Dad, Kenny, is "Granddaddy." Hard to keep straight, you'd think. But for Olivia, she knows and loves them each in their own way.

Here's the cute thing from the other day. I got a few pictures of Olivia (I'll post later this week) and sent them out to the grandparents. A little "bait" on a hook, I call it, because as soon as they receive pictures in their inbox, they all come clammering for when they can see her again. Honestly, I can count the seconds from when I hit "send" to when my phone rings or I get a text.

So I wasn't too surprised the other night when Kenny (Granddaddy) called Joel's cell after I sent him about 8 photos of his grandgirl. The conversation went something like this: (one-sided, mind you, because all I could hear was Joels end of the conversation)

"Hi Dad."
"Oh, you got those, huh? Sarah sent 'em?"
"Yeah, she's pretty cute."
"No, we're up. Just watching TV."
"Oh, ok...well uh, we'll see you soon!"

I laughed because I knew what came next.

"I guess my dad's stopping by."

Granddaddy came over with about 7 boxes of cookies. Olivia was thrilled! She had one in each hand. He also showed off his swanky new 14 megapixel camera (I have camera ENVY!) and here are a few shots.

And yes...I'll mention it before you make fun of it. I know Joel and I have matching glasses. For the record, Joel wants me to tell you that he had his pair first and I copied.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Come Join Me!!!

I've always been a fan of a fresh start; a new beginning. So, I jumped at the chance to be a part of a Womens Conference that is coming in January: "From Trials to Triumph" - Starting Anew with Christ after a tough year.

Maybe this is just the nudge you need to break free from the routine. All the day-to-day stuff can weigh on us. I speak from expierence here. I can't wait to hear your stories and worship along with you.

Come join me! Registration will be up soon at


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Can't stop listening

I don't know what it is.

I don't know what it is about his music, but once the CD goes in, I can't take it out.

Have you heard Chris Tomlin's "Hello Love" album yet? There is a song on there called "God Of This City" and perhaps you are already singing it in Church.

If you haven't heard it yet, perhaps you should stop what you are doing. Seriously. Like stop working, or surfing the net, or whatever you are doing, and find this song.

Heres the story behind it: (written by Chris)

We were recently in Belfast, Northern Ireland for a concert. The night consisted of a great line up of worship bands. One of the bands that night was local and they were called Bluetree. Daniel (guitar player) was thankfully paying close attention when they went into this song, "God of this city." He immediately came to me and said that I had to hear it. When I did hear it, I knew that it was a timely song and that it would be perfect for the journey we were about to undertake with Passion. And after hearing how the boys of Bluetree wrote the song, it is no wonder why this song is full of power. Turns out the song was written in a bar/brothel in Padia, Thailand. When the owner of the bar found out the lads were a band, he asked if they wanted to play and the Bluetree boys were up for it. Now that's worship leading! Proclaiming the grace of God in the middle of a brothel. Sounds a lot like Jesus to me. Aaron Boyd of Bluetree told me that in the middle of their set of songs, this song just spontaneously birthed. God put this powerful lyric on their lips in that moment…

greater things have yet to come
and greater things are still to be done in this city.

They graciously allowed me to record it and it became the title track to the current Passion CD and the name of our 17 city Passion world tour. What a statement to proclaim in the cities of the world!

I keep the song on repeat for a while, then go to the next track "I Will Rise." Usually the tears start to fall by the time I get to this song... (which I'm listening to as I type today).

Chris Tomlin is my favorite artist on Spirit. He always has been, and probably always will be. So that's my case for "Hello, Love." No, I don't get a commission. I just write about things I'm passionate about. The next post will most likely be about juicing again.


My sister-in-law Ellen has some pretty kickin' handwriting. Its so good it should be made into a font.

I've always tried hard with my handwriting. I used to erase words over and over and then start fresh on a new piece of paper because I didn't think my penmanship was up to par.

My mom has distinctive handwriting, too. It's a cross between cursive and regular writing with a twist of "teacher" thrown in because that's her profession. My step-dad writes in ALL CAPS all the time. And don't get me started on Tom (co-host) - he's a lefty and it's very hard to read.

All this to say: I just read an article in USA Today about "Bible Across America." Looks like Americans coast to coast will have a chance to hand-copy a verse of Scripture to appear in a special edition of the New International Version of the Bible, known as the NIV.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the NIV, which has sold 300 million copies worldwide, publisher Zondervan has launched a campaign to create the unique edition, which will include its 31,173 verses, each handwritten by a different person.

How cool is that? What verse would you write? Mine would totally be Matthew 6:33. It's always been my favorite. "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

Looks like the stop for Seattle is next January 26th. Don't know where yet, but I'll be there with my Sharpie fine-tip marker ready to elbow others out of the way to get Matthew 6:33 on the books. That verse is mine. Get your own.