three years today


This is a photo of my husband, Clay, and my three year old nephew {as of today!}, Sawyer.

It might look like an ordinary birthday photo, but to me it means so much more.

You see, the day Sawyer was being born {to his super strong mama, Courtney} was also the very day that Clay began texting me.

It was the mark of the very beginning of our relationship.

. . .

Clay was on his way up north with his other sister and brother to go meet their new nephew… who would one day become my nephew. I remember it like it was yesterday:

I was laying on a blanket with a pen and a journal in a park in North Hollywood in between appointments. {Little did I know both Clay’s apartment at the time as well as his parents’ house were both within a mile of that very park!}

And under jet stream-covered sky, I felt a new beginning happening, a shift, the start of something new.

It would be another five weeks until our first date, but this was most certainly the beginning of our story.


As I look at these photos from Sawyer’s third birthday yesterday {a joint party with his little sister, Callie}, I think of God’s faithfulness, and I reflect on new beginnings.

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent. The women’s small group that I co-lead with my sister-in-law, Caitlin, will be reading through a book called “I Am Loved” by Wendy Blight.

I read the intro today in preparation for this five-week study, and as I did so I noticed that the amount of time that passed from the day Clay and I began texting until our first date {about five weeks} is the very same amount of time that covers the span of Lent {about five weeks}.

. . .


I find it no coincidence and feel God revealing to me some parallels in this testament to His love and faithfulness:

  • In the same way there was a period of waiting for Clay’s and my first date, we experience a period of waiting for God–in which He grows us, shapes our heart, and teaches us many things, among them patience–modeled by this Lenten season.
  • In the same way God gave me the gift of Clay at the end of that season of waiting, He gives us good gifts that are made all the more valuable through our patience and waiting in “Lenten-like seasons”–modeled by the very gift of salvation through His Son with the arrival of Easter.
  • And in the same way Clay’s and my love has grown over the course of the last three years {marked so beautifully through this adorable, fun, energetic little boy in Sawyer}, God’s love grows in our hearts as we discover just how great His love for us is, and as we fall deeper and deeper in love with Him throughout the journey of our relationship with Him.

. . .


I took this photo in that park on that very day three years ago. And it holds an even greater significance on this day today.

For while I may have hoped that day would mark a new beginning with Clay, I could not have been certain what would unfold at the time. {After all I had gotten my hopes up so many times in regard to relationships only to be let down.}

And yet God was most certainly writing something beautiful, even when I couldn’t be certain.

I waited a really long time for Clay. {Like almost thirty years.} And as difficult as the waiting was, it was so worth all of it–all the tears, all the pain, all the heartache, all the longing, confusion, frustration, and even anger.

. . .

For what are you waiting this Lenten season? In what ways do you long for God to show up in your life?

My prayer for all of us this Valentine’s day, which is also Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent, is that no matter what stage we are in–singleness, dating, engagement, or marriage–and no matter what we are waiting for–healing, employment, or anything else in the world–is that we would, in the words of Paul, “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” {Ephesians 3:18}

For this is the love that far surpasses all others. And this is the love that is our soul’s deepest longing and truest desire.

. . .


Our God is such a good and creative God. I love how He pieces little details of life together to show us so tangibly just how much He loves us.

May you look for those little pieces in your own life today.

. . .

Happy birthday to my sweet Sawyer man. Your Aunt Mer and Uncle Clay love you so much!

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