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**Many people in my life have encouraged me and prodded me along to write a book. If you were/are one of those people, thank you. I write because it is healing to me and it brings those dark spaces in my life to light which is transforming me as darkness cannot dwell where there is light. You hope as a writer (it feels weird making that self-proclamation) that your story somehow resonates with others, as well. I am grateful and humbled that mine has found that with some of you. I have decided to publish my little book here on my blog for several reasons. I will publish a chapter each month. With that being said, I humbly give you my introduction.**

I am the baby of the family. Not only the baby, but the baby girl. To say I was (am) spoiled would be an incredible understatement. I get my way. And when I don’t, oh man. I invented pouting, dear ones. If it were an Olympic sport, I would gold medal every.single.time.

I had this picture of how my life would be. I was going to have 6 kids, 3 biologically & 3 adopted. I was going to be married right after I graduated college. And we were going to be missionaries in Indonesia. Sounds lovely, right? And then God started messing with my lovely plan. And I have had to learn that God doesn’t much care that I’m the baby girl and supposed to get my way. I have also learned that I’m not a very quick learner. I still pout and stomp my foot and demand God do things my way or else. And when that doesn’t work, I just flat out say, “No.” Besides, I was going to adopt babies! And move to another country! All for You, God! Don’t You see? I’m doing ALL OF THIS SACRIFICING FOR YOU. Just leave me alone and let me do it.

I told y’all. I am the Michael Phelps of pouting.

I’m not quite sure how God has put up with me this long. Honestly. We have had a teenage daughter for 3 months and I have wanted to feed her to the wolves only about 56778 times because she likes to get her way all the time too. Whew. God has His work cut out for Him with me.

This book is my humble offering of my story. It’s not anything spectacular. I wasn’t a meth-head hardened criminal. But this is my redemption story. I don’t have life all figured out. I can’t give you 3 easy steps to an awesome life. My story is not my own and it is not complete. My story is wrought with pain and sacrifice and beauty and redemption and truth. What I do have to offer is Jesus. And Jesus brings hope. Because one day, He will make all the sad things come untrue (Jesus Storybook Bible). One day, all the pain and heartache and messiness will be worth it. Because Jesus is our reward. And Jesus is always worth it.

Thank you for coming along on this beautiful, messy, chaotic journey that God has led me on, sometimes kicking & screaming.