Amidst the flames

Last night I smothered them all in kisses. Soft cheeks still ripe with innocence and youth. Noses dotted with the freckles of childhood, when life is secure and free and beautiful and each day can be met with wonder and imagination.

I don’t tell them about the fires. I don’t mention the lives lost and the political uproar, the fear for what tomorrow might hold. I don’t share the unrest or the prevailing hatred that threatens to overwhelm. While flames lick the embassies and grieving loved ones bury heroes, I play another round of UNO, wipe another runny nose and gather my chicks under my wing with nothing more than a prayer.

These are scary times. I look at my children sometimes and I wonder, what will they face? I think of the little girl who may already be waiting for us across the ocean and I long to gather her close, too. To protect her from the scary. To tell her it’s okay, everything is going to be alright.

I haven’tcompletely sheltered the kids. Sloan and I talked politics just the other day. He watched footage of the 9-11 Memorial and I did not try to hide my tears as I listened to a mother remember her son who perished in the flames of that awful day. He knows that evil exists. He understands that there are those who possess a hatred so fierce it causes them to commit the unthinkable.

But while these flames burn, I feel an overwhelming urge to keep my little ones near and to guard their innocence with all the ferocity I’ve been given as their mother. I whisper prayers over them each night. I pray for protection and peace and for days filled with the magical fantasy that only the youthful can possess. 

I pray this not just for my children, but for all the children. I think of Moses and Mwajuma and the different kind of innocence they possess. I pray for the little ones who are trapped right in the center of the flames, the ones burying their daddies and the ones who go to sleep at night to the sporadic sounds of gunshots.

In the nighttime hours, I study the candidates and dissect what they believe so that, when the time comes, I can use what little power I have to try and protect the future for my children. I learn and try to understand and ultimately I remember that in the end, it is God who places people in power and it is all for a reason.

I will fight the flames the only way I can and I will do so with as much education as I can to ensure I truly understand the choices I am making. Because those choices don’t just affect me – they affect them. They affect my children, the ones who are set to grow up in this beautiful, wonderful, scary, volatile world.

My vote and my prayers are the only weapons I’ve got and I take my responsibility to utilize them seriously.


Yesterday, I sat behind a woman and her three children who had that very morning said goodbye to a husband and a daddy. He had left in the early morning hours for a nearly nine-month long deployment to Afghanistan. I watched as she and her mother-in-law clutched hands through the worship set, each swiping tears from her eyes in a swift motion of strength and vulnerability.

Two women with the young ones huddled securely beneathe their arms. A hero sent into the flames. My vote and my prayer all I have as back up.



I believe in the power of both.


I will utilize both my vote and my prayers with as much humility and wisdom as I have been granted. I will vote with passion and conviction, but I will not step into the voting booth with hatred.

Hatred ignites the flame.

I have a responsibility to guard my chldren – all the children – from the heat of those flames.

I urge you, my friends, to educate yourselves before this election. Don’t vote based on emotion or popularity or even based on what you’ve voted in the past. We cannot be lackadaisical in our knowledge of the issues. We must go forth with conviction and courage.

The heat of the flames must compel us forward in wisdom, grace and humility and, above all else, we have to protect the little ones who are coming up behind us.

Are you prepared to vote?


  1. Really, really well said.

  2. I am struggling with all of this. I feel like it is VERY hard to get accurate portrayals of either candidate and their stands. I tend to just want to pray that Jesus will come before the election!

    Am thankful that HE IS in control…..

    • Well wouldn’t that be the easiet way out of it all! 🙂

      Yes, it’s so hard. Sometimes I feel like my only option is to choose the lesser of two evils, but in the end I have to vote based on moral conviction and at the end of the day that’s all I have left. It’s not easy, to be sure!

  3. My mind is here too. I take my vote seriously and I know who I’ll vote for, but I won’t be discouraged if the choice I make is not the one who wins. Like you said, God is the one who chooses who will lead us. And frankly, even though I am doing the same as you, clutching my babies under my wings while I can, praying over them and desiring peace and prosperity for them; I know that the world must change so that Christ can come. And as things worsen it actually fans the flame in my heart, the desire for me to see my children drawn to Jesus. Because a politician is not going to save us. A politician is not the one who will give my children ultimate security and peace. Only Jesus can give my children the things I long for them in my heart. I recently read Luke 21:23 and it was a reminder to me that our hearts will always long for these things for our kids. Even when times are bad. You’ve spoken your heart well today friend. I have a feeling there are many mommies right there with you today.

    • Oh such a good reminder. Thank you, Tiff. It all feels so overwhelming and scary right now. I needed the reminder that no politician is going to bring about a true security for their futures.

      Love you!

  4. We spoke briefly of this in home group as we were about to pray. It was a very bad week last week for our world. It sure would be easier to wrap ourselves up in our own little world, and ignore what is going on around us!

    I remember when Pres. Obama was elected and we were all so disappointed, our Sunday School teacher said to us, “we may be disappointed with the outcome of the election, but God is still in control and he has used bad leaders for his good all throughout history.” We have to cling to that. No matter who is ruler of our country, God is soveriegn!

    I pray for y’all daily as you work your way through the adoption process and now I get to add Becke’ and Eric’s precious bundle to my prayers! What an exciting time for you all!!