Where did you come from, beautiful stranger?

New to this land we call home.

We were not expecting you though I had been praying for someone like you to come along.

Autumn told me the story of how you both met. 

Her voice sounded different. My heart had to check. Could you be the one that God set apart? 

To walk out life, loving our daughter with all your heart?

I wrestled, I doubted. Others questioned and frowned. But how we grew to love you the more, you came around.

What sparked my heart is your love for Jesus. You seemed genuine and sincere. 

So I went before our father God with long moments of deep prayer. 

Asking if I should beware of the beautiful stranger? That had seemed to blow in from who knows where?

And then you did it.

 You asked for her hand in marriage early, to our surprise.

Slow down, beautiful stranger. I had to question why?

And this was your reply.

She is beautiful, yes, but the thing I’m drawn to best is when I hear her pray. It’s like she talks to God in a different way. She really knows he’s listening, almost childlike. And somehow, I feel Him in our midst.

She’s smart, and I know she is the one God has for me. To walk the rest of this journey, my friend, my partner, my wife.

It amazes me at times when you least expect it. God shows up, and everything changes.

And here we are, the both of you, now husband and wife. 

One of my favorite quotes from Sacred marriage is

” What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?

I know God will use both of you to help shape and mold you to be more like Jesus.

I pray you are strengthened daily by the power of the Holy One.

Lead your bride as God intended.

Love her as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

Be patient with her as God has been with you.

Wash her with the water of The Word. 

I want you to know that you are loved. 

You are no longer a beautiful stranger but a son

Sent from God above.

We love you, Travis.

Jamie (Mom)

October 12, 2022


I get a phone call almost every morning from my daughter Summer as she makes her ten-minute commute to work, including her stop for coffee. I hear the gal taking her order. It’s become our ritual. I know what she will get and say it in my mind, wishing to have that drink face to face.

 Summer was filled with emotions this morning. She asked me. Mom do you ever miss the years when we were younger? And to my surprise, I burst into tears and could hardly answer her.

Yes, my voice quivered, my face wet with tears. I miss those years.

I reminisced as the flood of memories spilled over, as though they were waiting for me to stop and take notice.

How I miss my babies. The little girl I couldn’t wait to name Summer. She filled my life with goodness while stretching me in every direction to be the best mother for her. I miss my little boy Jacob who would pick flowers and hand them to me with bent peddles, filling my heart with love. And tiny Autumn so full of life. Lifting her small feet off the ground as her little tike car barreled down the slope, almost giving me a heart attack. Mom, don’t worry, I’m not gonna crash. She would say that every single time my expression told her to slow down.

 I miss my sweet Hannah touching my face in the early morning and kissing my cheek softly. 

Seriously, how did it go by so quickly? I was warned but always forgot when I’d see the laundry piled on the floor, dreading the all-day task.

I want to encourage my daughter. My daughter-in-law. And mothers who are in this season of life. 

Don’t give up!

I know the endless tasks of dirty dishes and laundry. Diapers that need changing, school drop-offs, and pick-ups. Check homework before it gets missed, and you get the red checkmark reminding you to remember. Potty training and storytelling. Kissing skinned knees and, at times, having a full-time job stretching you so thin you almost don’t recognize yourself. 

Don’t give up!

Don’t ever stop trying to be the best mom God created you to be. Let Him fill you. 

It’s challenging, and on most days, there will be no “Me-time.” 

The view from this season of my life feels like 10,000 feet above, and my mind remembers well all the places I needed grace and the times I lost my footing falling flat on my face.

I can see all reasons you might want to quit. All the moments you feel like a nervous breakdown is just a breath away. You can’t wash one more dish or put out one more fire. I get it. I see you. I’m praying for you.

 The tug of this world tells you to think about yourself and your unmet needs. Grab it. Take it, they say.

The pull is gradual, and the focus can sometimes blur, causing you to forget why you are their mother. 

You are the keeper of your cottage. You are the lover of your husband your friend. You are the voice of reason to all who will lend an ear. Sometimes you’re even the nurse that pulls a twelve-hour shift, and no one seems to care.

I’m nearing that place people refer to as empty nesters. I’ve learned to sleep until my body is ready to get out of bed. It’s been nice getting older with less of the have-to and more of the get-to.

I’m in the middle of planning our second daughter’s wedding and wishing for one more day.

Can we go down the hill one more day as your face lights up with laughter? 

Can you pick me one more flower because I didn’t have time to press the others in a book? My sweet baby can you touch my face one more time with your soft voice whispering mommy, I love you. Can we have one more day? Can we?

My prayer for all the young moms out there. You are precious, loved, and priceless. Don’t put your focus in the wrong direction. Don’t allow your view to get so clouded you forget. The teenage years can get wild, and the young adults really don’t know everything, and at times they still might need you, one more day.

So take it slow, reel it in. Don’t be in such a rush for the day to end. Stay off your phone when their eyes are there, hoping you’d want to play or make cookies along the way. 

Wake up before dawn, put the coffee on. Open God’s word and fill up on His truth, teaching your babies how much God’s love is true.

Because I can promise you this. 

You will wish for one more day. You will hurt when they live far away. You will be less busy, and the memories will be what you have.

Remember, they are facing life in a forward motion, and you are now mostly watching. 

Time is a thief, and we must stand guard. 

Don’t let your heart grow weary. The Bible promises in due season, we will reap if we do not faint. (Galatians 6:9)

Praying that your season of motherhood will be the best time of your life. 

Praying for you.


@October 2022


My flight was short. 

I stepped through the jetway. I was in search of that familiar face. It had been at least three or more years since we had embraced each other.

Time. Friendship. How it endures.

I heard Grace call my name, looking trim and ready.

We hugged. It was good to see her.

This trip was more than just a getaway for both of us; it was a mission filled with love and kindness. Grace is my friend who looks for God’s divine appointments, “encounters,” she calls them.

We tried to catch up on surface talk as we walked through the airport to retrieve the rental car. I felt trusted that she asked me to join her on this trip.

The warm air felt familiar. The midwest feels like country, yet city at the same time, humid and fresh, if any of that makes sense.

I felt my body adjust and get comfortable. I took a deep breath and let go of everything that lay on my shoulders from the previous days.

I was here and wanted to embrace everything with no plan of my own.

The forty-five-minute drive was good. My eyes gazed at the beautiful scenery as we talked. “God is so good,” I mentioned.

Like a fun friend, she quickly stopped for a snack: fries and a soda.

There was joy in our conversations. We laughed quite a bit. One last stop to the grocery store for breakfast things, snacks, and chocolate, before heading to our Airbnb.

We settled in quickly to our temporary stay as Grace fixed both cups of decaf coffee. We cozied up on the couch, and our conversation deepened. 

We were catching up on the lives of our kids and husbands and where we are with God.

While Grace gathered her thoughts, I realized we had never spent more than a few hours together over Lunch or coffee.

It was almost midnight. We both laughed at how late it had gotten—feeling like teenagers at a sleepover. Rest was needed.

The following morning I could hear Grace stirring in the kitchen, listening to worship music, and quietly getting ready for the day. I raised my voice to greet her with a “Good morning.” 

Today we were going to visit Linda, Grace’s friend of many years. It had been a long time since they had seen one another, almost twenty years. Unfortunately, Linda had a few brain injuries and had been in a nursing home for the past three years. The heart of a true friendship has no end.

We headed out to visit Linda. We entered the faded pink building, signed in at the front desk, and headed to room 301. 

Grace entered first. The room was dark. The light from the hallway cast a glow on the woman sound asleep in the bed.

Grace stood with her gaze on Linda. All of my emotions surfaced quickly. I captured the details, a love story, if you will, about true friendship.

Grace stepped closer to the bed, clutching the freshly bought flowers in her hand.

Grace leaned in and softly touched Linda’s hand as she whispered her name. Linda stirred as she tried to open her eyes. Her brow tightened, struggling to force one eye open. She blinked several times until both eyes steadied themselves on the figure standing before her.

I could see in her eyes that she knew the woman standing before her, but she could not quite remember her name. Then it happened. Linda’s face softened, and it came to her. “I know you,” she whispered. “Grace, is that you? I never thought I’d see you again.”

I was standing in a tiny dim room, witnessing the love and joy of true friendship.

I saw the faces of two angels, one giving, the other receiving. I was in tears and could barely contain myself.

Their embrace was priceless. The look in Linda’s eyes told a story of the God who sees.

For three long years, there were no friends to visit and no one to sit by her bed and listen to her woes.

Lost and forgotten is what I would have felt, but not Linda.

Grace turned on the room light. I could see clearly how beautiful this woman was. She struggled to sit up, adjusted herself, and inquired softly, “And who is this?”

“This is Jamie, Jake’s mom,” Grace informed her.

“Jake’s mom!” She gasped with excitement. “I know Jake, and I’ve heard about you.” She smiled perfectly.

Grace and Linda talked, and I observed.

Linda stated that after three years, she finally surrendered her struggling thoughts of why God had her in this place. “This is where He will use me.” she simply stated.

There was something about Linda’s face; she glowed. Her eyes were filled with love. But how? I wondered.

She’s in a nursing home! No visitors and no family. No real freedom.

It smelled old and in need of some deep cleaning. Yet this old gal was glowing.

Linda knew many things, and sometimes she would forget the answer to a question she had previously asked. But she didn’t belong there, I insisted in my heart. But somehow, she was confident that this was the place God would have her minister until He was done.

We spent a few days with Linda. Grace provided a shopping spree for all her needs and wants.

This sweet Linda would lace her arm through mine and walk cautiously as she asked me questions about myself.

Grace and I selected a wardrobe, and Linda allowed us to help her choose.

Linda would stand in front of the mirror and struggle to find herself, asking if the color suited her. She would whisper, “I barely recognize myself.”

And my tears would find their way to my cheek.

My heart ached.

It was time for Lunch. The Red Door restaurant was our vote, and Linda wore earplugs to soften the loud noise of the indoor eatery.

Linda gazed over the menu and inquired about the names of these dishes. I would break it down in hopes of helping her choose. She was used to eating the same thing for three years, and the menu was overwhelming. Her choice was a simple but delightful grilled sandwich. 

I had a hard time imagining being in her place. My heart was sorrowful.

“Jamie,” she spoke, snapping me out of my feelings.

“Tell me about yourself. Where are you from?

What do you do?”

I sheepishly told her that I write and love telling stories. Surprised, she said, “I was a publisher.” I told her about living in Colorado; she had a speaking engagement there years ago.

Isn’t that something? You never know who you’re gonna meet in this life. 

I was still preoccupied that this lovely Linda shouldn’t be in a nursing home. As though she could read my mind, she interrupted and began telling us again about her struggle with being in the nursing home. But found peace and finally surrendered to God, knowing this is where God will use her.  

Supernatural is what it is. Only God can transcend a heart to serve Him no matter the condition or the circumstances.

“God change me,” I asked. “Make me selfless no matter what you bring my way.”

Linda is what I call “Jesus in skin.” 

Linda touched my life. 

Grace poured out generosity and kindness to both of us, holding nothing back.

I was the recipient of God’s love, grace, and mercy. I felt like I was surrounded by angels and the heart of God.

We had a full day. However, before going to bed, I looked up the meaning of Linda’s name. said it’s a female given name; from a Spanish word that means “Pretty.” The English translation means “Beautiful.” There was also a religious definition that meant “Tender woman.” 

There it was. Linda means beautiful and tender, which she displayed.

The day that followed was exciting. Grace was taking Linda for a much-needed haircut. Upon arrival at the Salon and Spa De Crist, the words on their site read, “You belong here.” So inviting. Beautiful and cozy. Shabby and chic.

We entered the cottage-like building, and Linda was ready. Shannon escorted Linda to the back of the salon, sat her in the chair, and began to inquire about this new look she was interested in. Linda laughed. Tattooed on Shannon’s arm was a bible verse. I asked her what it said. With a huge grin, she quoted Romans 18:1 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” I couldn’t believe that out of all the girls working in the salon, Linda was given Shannon, the girl who believed in the same God that would someday deliver us all from our sufferings. 

Grace and I walked back to the waiting area and boasted of the goodness of the Lord.

When Linda’s haircut was finished, Shannon walked her into where Grace and I were sitting as though she was presenting a royal. Nothing could stop the brilliant smile beaming off of Linda’s face. My heart filled up.

Do you still believe God is in control when life throws you a curve ball? Is he still sovereign when your circumstances are less than ideal or downright unfair or wrong?

Those few days with Grace and Linda deeply impacted my life. I searched hard and long for answers that kept me awake at times long after our trip was over. 

God is faithful. That is what His word says.

Hebrews 10:23 (ESV) tells us, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promises is faithful.”

2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV) If we are faithless, He remains faithful- for He cannot deny Himself.

Life as a believer in Jesus Christ is not about a safe and perfect existence or experience. God is not a Genie in a bottle. All your wishes, He commands. Nor is being a follower of the living God a get-rich scheme: you give your tenth so you can get a hundredfold in return.

 A life of faith is about leaning on and trusting in a God who knows everything. It’s a soul willing to surrender to the unknown, believing in what we cannot see but hoping in what will be because God’s word said it.  

I look at life and many times question.

Why are children taken without cause? Abused? Why do humans hurt others at times to the point of death? Why would God allow a lovely woman like Linda to spend life in a place she doesn’t seem to belong in? 

I’m not interested in quoting scripture and using it as a one-liner to make myself feel better. However, the Bible says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” 

Let’s take this verse slowly. It doesn’t say some things or a few things, but all things work together for good. 

Doesn’t that sound wonderful and absolutely amazing? It continues… to those who love God. That’s a question for each individual to answer. 

Do you love God? I’m sure I can hear your answer. Yes! Of course, I love God. The verse continues… to those who are called according to His purpose. The sovereign God has great plans for His children even though we live in a crazy world. His desire is to work things out for your good. Sometimes the good in working out His plan is the part we don’t understand or like. 

In your struggles, do you rest in Him?

When life has left you fractured, you live to tell the story, sometimes repeating it. Do you question God? Devastating flood waters, earthquakes, betrayal, what about wayward children who have broken your heart? Does it feel like your prayers go unanswered?

What do you do? Where do you hide your heart?

Well, here is what I know. 

The Bible is full of true stories of real people just like you and me who have been called for God’s purpose. This life of following Jesus is about submitting to His plan and purpose for our life.

It’s about fully submitting to a call more significant than our wants.

For some people, that’s a hard pill to swallow.

Let me encourage you to read God’s word.

The parting of the Red Sea. (Exodus 14)

The promise to Abraham and Sarah. (Genesis 18)

The battle of Jericho. (Joshua 1-6)

The story of Joseph. (Genesis 37-50)

And, of course, the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Luke 22:39-46)

God’s good plans are displayed for us to see. So that we would be encouraged that our God is faithful no matter what. 

You may not be able to see the results of God working things out for your good right now. Pause, and thank Him anyway. 

I’d love to hear how I can pray for you.

Waiting for His return,

Jamie @2022


Learning to Dance Again (marriage series week 9)

life is a dance

In the course of sharing the story of our marriage, Tony and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on August 3rd.

It was simple and quiet, I sat across from him at dinner like I had done so many times before.

Some of the hurt still lingers deep in my heart.

But in that moment I understood, It was God’s grace that covered us everyday through all these years.

I choose to trust God to continue to heal my heart.

It’s easy for my old self to creep back in. The past pushes up against my thoughts and I quickly remember the pain.

The decisions I make everyday plays a part in the battle. I will either be victorious or remain broken. Continue reading “Learning to Dance Again (marriage series week 9)”

A Man’s Journey Home (Marriage series: Week 8)

tony's story

Hi I’m Tony,

A few weeks ago my wife asked if I would share on her blog for the marriage series.

You may have already read the stories of mine and Jamie’s life, so I won’t retell it here.

I will tell you that most of the bad decisions I have made, that hurt our marriage and family were done out of fear, pride, and disobedience.

I was afraid of a lot of things but too prideful to admit them, I did my own thing.

I had no clue what it would take to be married. I was deeply in love with Jamie, but I had no idea how to love her the way God was calling me too. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, I often thought that would be enough. Continue reading “A Man’s Journey Home (Marriage series: Week 8)”

Return To Your First Love (Marriage Series: week 7)

great love

It was time to put away the fairytale dreams I’d been trying to live, in hopes of my happily ever after.

It was time to suit up like a warrior. It was time to live in truth and step out and defend my faith, my marriage, and my family against the lies of the enemy.

God is the creator of marriage.

He knew what it would take and he gave us the tools to have a Christ centered marriage. But somewhere on this journey we were swept away by the views and values of the world and allowed that to play a part of our thoughts,  and decisions, and in time it birthed consequences of destruction. Continue reading “Return To Your First Love (Marriage Series: week 7)”

Waterfalls Of Grace Marriage Series (week 6)


waterfall maila with name

When you’re broken and filled with hopelessness, that is when you need

waterfalls of grace.

Only the grace of God can take your circumstances and begin to fill you with hope.

2 Corinthians 12:9 – Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

Our marriage displayed all of our weaknesses and instead of running to God  who was more than willing  and able to give us what we needed to go through the deep waters, we both looked to each other and began drowning in the sea of despair.

In the chaos of our lives and our focus on each other, we drifted apart with no anchor to hold us together.

The fearful broken me, was angry at the injustice done in my life with no voice to speak up. I wrestle day and night with my bitterness and unforgiveness.

The man I married didn’t know how to cope with things in his life. He found himself running aimlessly into a world of lies and deception until he spun out of control. Continue reading “Waterfalls Of Grace Marriage Series (week 6)”