“Stories about people who go through hard things … and find God.”

She reads just like me, finding time where there isn’t any to rip through pages and chapters … until she reaches the near-end. Then she slows to almost a halt, wanting to linger in a story that is now a part of her.

We didn’t see her for hours as she devoured the life of Corrie Ten Boom.

“What do you like in a book, Lily?” I asked.

“I want to read stories about people who went through hard things and found God,” she says.

She wants to read stories of people just like her.

In honor of Lily, I’d love to share with you some of my recent favorites — stories in words and pictures of people who went through all varieties of hard things and “found God” — and tell you about some new happenings around this place:

  • Have you seen this yet? I might just be personally responsible for dozens (if not more) of those views, as this video so moves me to love Him more.
  • This from a friend who has walked through crazy physical pain and continues to lift high His name (what a rare thing!): “when we get knocked down or taken out (which we will) . . .we come face to face with the extravagant mercies of God who immediately reaches down and takes hold of us.” This isn’t a blog from which to take a sip, but prepare for a deep drink.
  • And what does it look like to encounter His mercy, when we mamas are unmerciful? I love these thoughts from a mom I’ve seen (in person) live the understanding of Him of which she speaks. She parents from the overflow.
  • Here’s my baby-feeding reading material, ’cause I can really only process this in small chunks. Get this: “To be truly meek means we no longer protect ourselves … so we are not on the defensive; all that is gone.” So good. Thank you Dr. Lloyd-Jones.
  • “Sometimes God withdraws His comfort from our lives so that we can recognize our need for Him.” Ummm…yes, Karen!
  • I’m getting a sneak peek at a dear friend’s May release. Corban’s heart for the ones whom our world wants to dismiss is powerful. If you like a page-turner with a beautiful message, pre-order.


  • Nate and I set up a little rule — better, a goal — years ago when we began to realize how the dynamics of having many in-need-of-mending hearts under one roof can impact a marriage. At least once (ideally twice) a year we escape together: a mini-retreat in the midst of a life that threatens to feel overwhelmingly intense sometimes. This weekend coming up in May is sure to be exactly the kind of refreshing and reminding in Him that we look for in our getaways. Have you adopted or are you in the process? Registration will remain open for just a few more weeks. (And we’ll be there!)

I have a song for each of my children. One verse of Bo’s goes like this: “hard hearts become soft, just like your mommy’s did.” As I adore God as healer today — the God who broke open my womb with this miracle child — it’s with the realization that …before He healed my body, He healed my heart. He softened me to Him. For those of you with still-broken bodies who are adoring Him as healer, know this: He comes to touch and heal a heart even while the body waits. #marchadoration #infertility#everybitterthingissweet

  • I know I’m not alone in facing murky thoughts, all throughout my day, that are not rooted in His Word. The habit of adoration is ever-so-slowly writing His Word over these old, stale imposters. I have a small crew of friends whose lives are being touched by Him, through adoration, and are figuring out creative ways to express it. Very soon we’re starting an adoration community board on Pinterest. If you have content (or want a reason to create content — cause you’re creative like that) — centered on His Word and who He is in His Word and would like to be a contributor, send an email to admin@everybitterthingissweet.com

Finally, a little preview of what’s coming in October: the folks over at Zondervan created this and — after I freaked out for a week or two about the fact that my name is on it and I’m still not sure I ever wanted to write a book — I uncurled from fetal position and fell in love with their work. Can’t wait to share it with you! (Picture links to Amazon.)