Wednesday, December 18

a week from today is
last night was celebrate recovery, 
and i bumped
into one of my favorites there
who i hadn't seen in a long time.
"mary, where have you been?"
"in a dark place. very dark....
for about six months."

some degenerative disease in
her neck. hasn't worked all this
time. her eyes not clearly focused
from medication. she was telling
my story.
another young mother diagnosed
with breast cancer. recovering
from a hysterectomy. six, young
no Christmas shopping yet; the
rent hasn't been completely paid,
and the husband is on the job at
6 a.m. every morning.

this morning, i received a text
from a great friend. i refused to

"ann, get happy again..and healthy
so you can go on our next trip
with us.."

i felt terrible shame that you
all have had to share my year
of dark pain. have prayed and i
contemplated dropping the blog
many times.

not my best year.
but i've learned heaps of
compassion. with each one who
passes my way, i've studied their
eyes. often, a tear will, with no
invitation by me, slide down
one cheek. my passion for
broken people has become immense.  
i understand it all 
better. what Jesus feels. what
led Him to die for us.

jan, with worsening cancer.
physical pain and foot surgeries
that made my feet far...
than previously.
i lost a beautiful friend my children and i adored.
i feel sad for all of us..

I wasn't stable enough to bring
someone new into my life.. i see all kinds of
things i should have done differently, 

the magnificent Christmas carols.
the wonder of the shepherds and wisemen.  
the birth of baby Jesus.
the Prince of Peace. the Redeemer
who not only delivers us from ourselves,
but all the brokenness that an evil world deposits
into our lives.

"how silently..the
wondrous Gift was given...our
Lord, Emmanuel."

feel the crisp, night air.
see the shepherds and wisemen
as they follow the Light. hear
the sweetest sounds on earth....
a newborn baby's whimper. the Christ-
child of the earth.


  1. you are loved Ann. please keep the blog going. I look forward to your posts and your encouragement. many are going through struggles and you remind us to stay true to Jesus!

  2. Phone calls,emails, they come to me from people you would never know by the outside appearance. They say they call me because I will not judge. They know my story...filled with physical, mental, and spiritual pain. We could not handle it alone so we risked being thought of as being the mess we were. Secrets came our way from the authentic. We were like most..wounded and doing our best. You are allowing us on your life journey. We mourn, we cry, resonate with your losses.and believe in it all, Jesus is here. That in the end...all will be well..And now we can cling to one another. That is glorious dear Ann.

  3. Please keep sharing Ann- Your blog brings life and hope for many- for many are dealing with similar issues as you have shared and feel validated and to keep holding on with hope and faith. And your writing always honors Jesus and His Word and His ways, and shares the joys and victories even in the midst of pain and sorrow. MANY are reading and gleaning and being touched- even if they don't post a response. Like you Ann, we stand on tiptoe to witness all God will do in 2014 in our lives and relationships. God is a redeeming and a restoring God. He is faithful and trustworthy and true. I love the verse in Joel- a PROMISE- I WILL redeem the years the locust have eaten away. That fills us with HOPE overflowing! Hugs and Prayers and keep writing Ann for JESUS and for all of us- His children.

  4. jody, i really love you.
    maybe your words will keep the
    blog going. ann

  5. Bless you Ann! As many persons have watched your life and have witnessed your deep love and faithfulness to the Lord always, through joys and sorrows, pain and struggles- we see you as a tall oak tree of righteousness displaying HIS SPLENDOR- as shared in a verse in Isaiah.
    And provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Keep writing and sharing Jesus and standing tall! We love you!

  6. O Ann, your vulnerability ministers to me more than you'll ever know. To read your faith shine through your weakness floods my reality with God's light. Please, don't stop blogging.

    1. nathan, thank you so.your words
      really meant alot. love, ann

  7. Yes Ann, please keep blogging!!! Your voice and immense compassion for the broken is so needed by us. We are so saddened by your tough, toughest year. we know how bonded you are to your twin through your books, but can only imagine how her pain too so deeply penetrates your soul... Please keep sharing your deep faith through all your doubts. 2014 will surely be uphill for you, we all pray. We do know that God will do something very special in your life with your suffering, your testing, don't know what it could be but wait in hopeful anticipation. Sending much love, peace and healing to you and your family in this Christmas season of joy.

  8. I don't know how many read your blog, but I know the Lord has kept you in my heart. I don't check facebook all the time, and sometimes I have to look you up just to see how you are. All those years you were missing in action, I was wondering. And I have learned, when God keeps bringing someone to mind, it means you should pray for them. They need it more than a person knows. And ditto all the comments that are on here so far!