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It’s Wedding Day

30 Jul

It was Christmas Eve. We had a surprise gift that year- a little guy coming 9 weeks early while we were out of town visiting family. I had a picture of him taped beside my bed while he fought for his life in NICU. I remember being scared to death. Would he make it? Would he have a future? Would I lose him?


This 3 1/2 pound premie is now a  Children’s Pastor. He is funny and talented and energetic and thoughtful. He has brought us so much joy the last 22 years. I never imagined that day in the hospital bed that it would all turn out this way. But it did.  And today is his wedding day.

His fiance has been hanging around our home for almost five years now. They met in math class in high school- that first day he couldn’t take his eyes off her. So he pursued her like I’ve never seen anyone pursue someone. He was relentless. Somewhere along the way they fell in love.


And our family fell in love with her.

Last September he drove her up to Duluth, Minnesota and along the North Shore stopping at Shovel Point. He led her out on a path overlooking Lake Superior, got down on one knee, and asked. She said yes. Some kind stranger recognized what was happening and quickly recorded the moment.

shovel point

Today they make it official but truthfully she has been a Goscha in our hearts for a long time.

It’s Wedding Day. The groom has left the house with his best men brothers and his groomsman cousin. My husband is upstairs- I can hear him moving around. And I’m sitting in a puddle of tears.

I’m overwhelmed with it all, I guess. How God has worked in our son’s life both physically and spiritually. I’m feeling like the most blessed mama in the world. I’m so full of gratitude for life and grace and love. I’m sad that our time with Zach in our home is closing but excited for the adventure he is beginning. I’m excited to welcome another daughter-in-law who has stolen our hearts. Sometimes it just feels like so much.

Today I will celebrate with incredible gratitude every single gift that God has given our family. It’s time to dry the tears. It’s time to move onto the next part of this great adventure of life and motherhood. It’s time to enter into this holy and sacred day with a full heart. engage city

Later today they will vow to serve God together. I’m not sure it gets any better than this.


Update: So this happened.


Photo credit: Kallie Elizabeth Photography
Venue: Stillwater Historic Courthouse
Second shot with Jessica Stoe Photography




Father’s Day

15 Jun

Each year Father’s Day creeps up on us. With Mother’s Day and Memorial day in the books and thoughts turned towards Fourth of July, Father’s Day thoughts often do not dawn until the weekend of the holiday. Plan something special for the fathers in your church community to thank them for the important task they have to be leaders in their homes and examples to their children.

Photobooth areas are a great way to capture a special memory or send a special greeting to your father or a father figure in your life. These photobooth pictures are from Mother’s Day, but could easily be altered to feature a fishing pole, football goal, or an array of comic books.

What are ways that your family or church shows appreciation to the father figures in your life?

Beauty In The Midst of the Pain

30 Oct


Lately it seems that everywhere I look I see beauty. The Minnesota fall that seemed to just hang there for so long. . . orange, red, yellow blazing. The smiles of women coming into Sojourn, a women’s Bible study I teach. Kids laughing over being slimed and grasping the attributes of God from Kaboom.

Those things I know as beauty.

What has surprised me, crept up on me, left me in tears. . . is the glimpse of beauty coming from the pain of women around me.

My friend who lost her 12 year old son only a month ago playing with another friend’s son. Laughing. Chasing. Giggling.  It caught me unaware. Those tears streaming as I watched how God somehow creates beauty when we least expect it. The surprise of it all.

Then there was this. A psalm written by Addie Zierman for our mutual friend Melissa. The beauty of it made me gasp.

My friend is on staff with me and if you are on a church staff that is tight. . . you know.  One of you fighting cancer feels like an assault on all of you.

And yet. . . glimpses of beauty keep popping up around me. The love that is pouring out for her. The stories of “just at the right time” someone calls, comes, brings, texts, sends. The moments when time stands still and God is there.

Please take a moment to read this psalm. . . to enter into perhaps an unknown world so you can minister better to others hurting. Or maybe you know someone fighting who needs to read this. . . . maybe that someone is you.