top of page




“How old were you when you found out?” Joe asks the question.


My brother, James, with my mother

and father, Sara and Sam.

When I found out. He is referring to me finding out that I was a mistake. An accident. An unwanted pregnancy. How old was I when I found out? I don’t know. It feels like I always knew. I had been told about it so often: how my mother ran outside and sat on the front porch, how she held her face in her hands and sobbed. Another child? She couldn’t handle it. My mother had her first child at 19: this wispy, tall, delicate girl went on to have two more. All of those pregnancies were welcome. Part of the plan. But by the time I came along, the ugly face of disfunction was showing, tearing at the seams of this little family.



Both of my parents endured abuse growing up. My father was beaten until he passed out. In his day, that was considered normal discipline. My mother suffered sexual abuse from her father who was a pastor. Nothing about that was considered normal. 

When my grandmother found out, she fled with her three daughters and took refuge in her parents’ home. Although she acted quickly, although they were received with love, although the abuse was never repeated, its shadow stretched out across my mother’s life. That same shadow has often haunted me through her. The ripple effects of abuse were starting to creep into this new family: nowhere near the severity of what my parents had experienced, but 


My brother, James, with my mother and father, Sara and Sam.

 just enough for to make it obvious to my mother: I can’t have another child. I can’t even protect the children I already have. Are you sure about this, God? I don’t have the strength. I just can’t . . .

Best Friends_edited.jpg

Best friends: Kathy and Janet Lynch

Unplanned parenthood. I don’t believe there is such a thing. It sounds reasonable, though: accidents happen, right? But as often as my mother recounted her tears, the panic overwhelmed her when she found out she was pregnant, she always followed it up with a glowing smile and said, “and then you came on Christmas. My little Christmas baby! You are a gift from God. God gave me the best present I could ever get!”

For as long as I can remember I have known: my parents did not plan to have me, but God planned to send me to them. God gave me an extra dose of silly, a powerful supply of nerdy and plenty of clumsy along with a big smile. God’s plans are good, and that includes me. Through me He would make my parents laugh, He would give my sister a best friend, He would heal many wounds through a skinny little unstoppable baby that arrived on Christmas morning.


I have also caused my fair share, or maybe even more than my fair share, of troubles. Just read on and you’ll find out! But I know I am part of a plan.


“To all who received Him, who believed in His Name, He gave power to become children of God who were born, not of blood or the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13


Let’s Connect

bottom of page