Father's Day Camping.

In line with last year (let's call it an official tradition!), we spent a couple of nights camping this weekend.  It was a good 'ole time of togetherness, campfires, celebrating, resting,
 and exploring:).  Nothing can beat watching these kids light up around their dad…..they love to be with him so much!  

This year, we ventured over to Cape Perpetua and camped within a mile of some beautiful forest hiking and the beach.  It was green (all those photos aren't even edited).  We could have spent a week there!  Glory, glory.
The last night we set up the camera to take a family picture.  Then, Dave let the kids take a million shots of everyone doing whatever they said.  Here is one of everyone 'swimming'.  Ba!!  It made me laugh out loud:).

Babe, thanks for endeavoring to show these kids the love of our true, perfect Father.  You are doing it well!
You are priceless to us.  


Eleven Years + Eastern Oregon

Last month, Dave and I celebrated eleven years…..we spent a couple of nights in Bend, OR.  I took in my first sights of eastern Oregon, rugged and magnificent.
These little moments away, making a memory, taking a break to just be together….they are life-giving.  Being married to Dave is such a deep delight; I wouldn't even try to put words to it (at least not here).  But the work of marriage proves itself a reality in the midst of these busy days.
By God's grace, we keep sowing….and reaping. And watching these years add up is like watching art take form.  It's bigger than us….and if I think on it long enough, I just wonder why I get to be part of something so marvelous…and I come up short….but oh, so thankful.

Thanks for marrying me, Dave Mann.
I love you.



This weekend marked three whole years with you, little June-June.  My, how you have changed in one year. You speak in full sentences, one after another….chattering, dancing, singing (er, shouting:) around the house daily.  You are full to the brim of life, curiosity.  I love to watch you….making your brother laugh hysterically, braving new feats, figuring out the order of our days together.  

You are fearfully.

You are a delight to me, to your dad.
Oh, how we love you. Happy Birthday.


Spring Beauty.

 “The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.” ― C.S. LewisTill We Have Faces
“Death opens a door out of a little, dark room (that's all the life we have known before it) into a great, real place where the true sun shines and we shall meet.” 
― C.S. LewisTill We Have Faces

"We do not want merely to see beauty….we want something else which can hardly be put into words- to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it."  C.S. Lewis

Saturday found me wandering in this sanctuary of a garden called The Grotto a mile up the road.  It sits on a cliff, looking out toward Washington…..surrounded by city life and busy roads…..but like an enormous, peaceful, hidden gem.  

At first, it rained, and I went undercover….spying a rainbow land right in the Columbia River for a long spell.  When it disappeared in the sunlight, I walked the garden. 

I thought about this magical wonderland God made and listened to the gospel proclaimed endlessly in my ear (thank you, Elyse Fitzpatrick). 

I thought about how this beauty grips us….and why?
I thought about how all beauty is from Him and of Him. 
And how He made us this way to worship….Him.

How unworthy we are, like the lowest citizens….wiping His feet with our tears….and getting it all wrong….and how He delights in us, a like a treasured possession….just inviting us in to sit with Him in all our weak moments.

And how one day all of it will be written on my heart forever. No more of the striving and the forgetting. Forever.

"The heavens declare the glory of the God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.  There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.  Their voice goes out into all the earth"  Ps 19:1-4

"Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Ps 96:6

"Every experience of beauty points us to infinity." -Balthasar