Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pictures ARE My Thousand Words

In the past 72 hours, I have experienced a heart that has shifted gears through love, aching, and glory.
I feel completely hungover by the adrenaline and I am hydrating with more thankful prayer than water.

On Wednesday, the Hus and I were asked to fill in as "models" for a photography workshop that THE Jeff Newsom was holding.
While I panicked about the clothes
(Thanks Jenn & Em for your support ;)
I was looking forward to a mid afternoon date with my husband
(and 9 strangers with cameras ;)

One of the workshop attendees captured Jeff in action:

and Jeff captured a little moment of love with my husband that I needed to see as much as feel.

Thursday came around and my heart was heavy.
I was stretching through some growing pains and I needed to be outside of myself.
I had an incredible moment of opportunity to spend an hour with my dear friends Corey & Melanie who found out they would be welcoming their son by C-section on Friday morning.
I asked them if they wanted to have a quiet moment together and celebrate their last day of pregnancy.
After work, I got in the car and listened to their excitement, their nervousness, and their love as I shot away.

Then came Friday.
I surprised even myself when I offered to be available to them if they wanted the delivery to be captured on film on Thursday.
Thirty minutes before Go-Time on Friday, Corey called me and asked if I could be there with them to photograph the birth.
I instantly broke down in tears, prayed, and headed over.

I am still coming down from the high...

As I told one friend, I was an actual fly on a miracle's wall...

Jackson Gregory was born on January 29, 2010 to two amazing parents!
Welcome to the world sweet baby boy.
I can't believe what meeting you has done to my heart!I am rendered relatively speechless by the unfolding events of the past few days.
I'm sure I will unravel a little more later....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Get Real

I am lucky.
I have friends that tell me when to cut the crap.
Friends that hear the "I'm fine" even if it's through an email and tell me to
get real, come clean.

So I did.
And this is some of what I was able to purge thanks to my friend.

I'm in this big transition phase. I feel like I'm "over" the miscarriage. It sucked but it's done and behind me but that ONE thing kinda flipped my understanding of how I was living upside down. I went from running full speed 24/7 to coming to a daunting dead stop. I had this unwanted moment of complete free fall and landed on my back and it left me laying there staring up wondering, WHAT HAS TO CHANGE?

It has taken weeks to commit to what I felt I had to do. I had this BIG dream and was haunted with how much my dream drove me away from my reality as wife and mom. I pushed my family aside constantly for what I wanted. I didn't--I don't--have the ability to juggle well. I don't know how to turn off so the dream me was always on and the family me was something I was telling to wait for when I was ready--I was just never ready.

The miscarriage made me re-evaluate ALL of it. What was I doing? Was I happy? What are my priorities? And it was the toughest thing but I felt I was being lead to set "my dream" aside because what matters right now is my marriage and these precious moments of my son growing up. So I quit my dream by choice. This is the one thing that could wait for me. The one thing I could get to when my son was "done" being raised. And it's been emotional. There's this side that wants to scream DO YOU SEE WHAT I GAVE UP and this other side that is so at PEACE that I get to live out a dream I never expected I'd want: a family.

I really AM ok with my choice but there's the pride element, this selfish element that I'm trying to set aside knowing that I'm being obedient to what I feel called to do. I guess I just feel conflicted: How does it all work? How do women do it all? but I know, we all sacrifice something to be a mom, a wife, ourselves, a friend...there is always sacrifice....I just had to choose: what sacrifice has least amount of "profit loss"? The answer is: choosing my boys.

So here I am.
Mourning a loss-
Celebrating a gain-
Learning who THIS me is.

It's true...the days after the brutal work out yield the most immobility. So, I just have to stretch the aches out and keep running in this new direction and shaping this new me.

Deeeeep breaths.....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How A Girl Got Her Name

My name is Allegra Love.
I use to hate my name.
I am the 4th consecutive Allegra Love in my family.
This caused much confusion growing up
(and a lot of nick Little Legs).
And while I use to hate it
I love it now
(but it will not be passed on should there be any little girls in my future).

Four generations ago,
My Great-Great Grandfather found the name in a poem.
I bet her never knew how it would stick!
Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, o blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

The Children's Hour
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

{3 of the 4 generations}

Monday, January 25, 2010


Pure, unadulterated Joy.

I don't think I have known what that is for awhile.
What I did was fight.
I fought to be an independent woman.
I fought to be perfect.
I fought to resist the change that being a mother is to everything "normal".
I fought...
tirelessly and relentlessly.

I just feel JOY.
I feel freedom from perfection.
I feel released to live.

Instead of tallying the ways I rock in my head (I did the dishes ten times, I made the bed 6 times, I cleaned the bathroom 9 times...) I serve my home freely.
Instead of refusing to claim my address as anything more than a temporary stop on the way to the next best thing, I'm now taking down the sheets I used as curtains and replacing them with real ones, I'm testing paint colors, and I am living gratefully.
I am embracing a heart filled with Joy and a life abundant with Freedom.

The rain stopped and the sun came through the sky on Friday.
I gathered my little boy up for some play in the drive way.
When he ran right into a puddle in his freshly laundered shoes, I chose to laugh vs. cringe.
I scooped him up and went inside to slip him into his rain boots.
We walked up an down the street gutter while he splashed in the pools of dirty water.
(Even when he tipped over and was completely drenched in gunk)

Joy and Freedom.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


A month ago I lost something...someone.
A month ago I had a broken heart.
Some days I feel guilty for being okay now.
Some moments when I'm sipping wine or eating sushi I think I shouldn't be and then feel selfish that I'm glad I am.
Maybe that is just coming around to the other side though.One month ago when I stared lifelessly at the comings and goings of other hospital patients thinking I wouldn't be able to smile again for some time...
wishing I could just be alone
He found me.

I don't believe God took my unborn child.
I don't believe for a single moment that I was punished.
I know my God. I know His goodness like I know my best friend.
What I know is He doesn't waste anything
{Thank you, Shannon, for constantly reminding me}
He used this moment of brokenness to break my heart for Him.
and it HAS.
I am a different me.
I have new eyes to see, a new heart set on fire with a new love, and a passionate thirst for MORE.
My deliverer is delivering me daily.

My husband. My cousin. The friends I have allowed in--
they have lifted me up, covered me in love, and waited patiently for me to find out what this new outlook on my life really is as I let Him shape it.
I am grateful beyond words and on fire inside with praise that I am standing in confidence in what I have been given and how He is going to use me.
I just keep healing.
ready for it?
One Day At A Time

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chapter 9: His Purpose

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll press forward in what I want to share.
The Power of a Praying Wife
by Stormie Omartian
Chapter 9: His Purpose

Lately I've been thinking deeply about my husband.
I have been thinking about who God made him to be and how I can support him in that.
Repeatedly I have heard the man I love say, "I'm a jack of all trades but I don't know what I'm made for."
I have always thought his many gifts are so amazing...if only I could do the things he does with the patience he has!
I don't think I understood what it means for a man not to be confirmed and affirmed in what he does until now.

My husband and I have always felt like we, as a couple, are missing a link to what He is wanting us to do, where He is wanting us to be and the other night I read a chapter that just struck me.
Chapter 9.
I felt spoken to about how deeply our purposes are intertwined and yet our own.
I just wanted to share this in case you don't have the case you feel like your husband is struggling to find God's purpose for his life and in turn, you feel the unrest yourself.
It really touched me as a wife....

"Everyone has a purpose. It's the reason we exist. It's our life's mission, objective, or plan. Generally, we're here to glorify God and do His will. How that specifically translates in our lives is unique to each of us. Your husband needs to know the reason he exists. He needs to be sure his life is not just an accident, but that he's here by design. He must be certain he was created for a great purpose. When he discovers that purpose, and is doing what he was created to do, becoming what he was created to be, he will find fulfillment. This can only contribute to your happiness as well.

If I've learned anything being married two and one half decades, its' that a wife can't put pressure on her husband to be something, but she can pray for him to become it. She can pray that he be molded according to God's plan and not anyone else's. Then, who he becomes will be determined by whether he hears God's call on his life or not. For God has 'called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began' (2 Timothy 1:9). Your husband is predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will' (Ephesians 1:11, 12). But you still need to pray that he hears God's call, so that who he is and what he does lines up with God's purpose for his life.

You can always tell when a man is not living in the purpose for which God created him. You sense his unrest. You get a feeling something is not quite right, even if you can't put your finger on what it is. When you're around a man who is fulfiling his calling and doing what he was created to do, you're aware of his inner direction, confidence, and deep security. How do you feel about what your husband is doing with his life? Do you lack peace about it because he is on a path that's unfulfilling, beating him down, or going nowhere? If so, then pray, 'Lord, take my husband from this place, reveal to him what You've called him to be, and open doors to what he should be doing.

Praying that way doesn't mean your husband will be pulled out of what he's doing and dropped into something else. It can happen that way, but often what takes place is a change in the man's perspective. I have a friend named David, who has worked for years in a factory, making airplanes. When he heard the call of God on his life, he knew he was to help troubled teenagers in low-income families. He also knew he wasn't to leave his job to do it. As it turned out, his work provided enough money to support his family while it afforded him exactly the kind of hours he needed to do what he had to do. He has organized food distribution to needy families, free concerts for underprivileged teens, Christian outreaches for the unsaved, and peace talks between rival gangs. He has done as much to bring restoration to his strife-torn city as a man could possibly do. His is by no means an easy job, but it is fulfilling. And he has a sense of purpose that is unmistakable when you're around him. Physically, he is not a large man, but he is a spiritual giant and you know it when you're in his presence. His wife, Priscilla, also hears God's call on his life and she supports it in every way she can.

Whatever God has called your husband to be or do, He has also called you to support it and be a part of it, if in no other way than to pray, encourage, and help in whatever way possible. For some women that means creating a good home, raising the children, being there for him, and offering prayer support. Other women may take an active role by becoming a partner or helper. In either case, God does not ask you to deny your own personhood in the process. God has called you to something, too. But it will fit in with whatever your husband's calling is, it will not be in conflict with it. God is not the author of confusion, strife, or unworkable situations. He is a God of perfect timing. There is a time for everything, the Bible says. The timing to do what God has called each of you to do will work out perfectly, if it's submitted to God.

If your husband is already moving in the purpose for which God has called him, you can count on the enemy of his soul coming to cast doubt-- especially if he hasn't yet seen anything close to the finished picture or realized the success he had envisioned. Your prayers can help cast away discouragement and keep it from taking hold. It can help your husband to hear and cling to God's revelation. It can cause him to live his life on purpose."

"Lord, I pray that (husband's name) will clearly hear the call You have on his life. Help him to realize who he is in Christ and give him certainty that he was created for a high purpose. May the eyes of his understanding be enlightened so that he will know what is the hope of Your calling.
Lord, when You call us, You also enable us. Enable him to walk worthy of his calling and become the man of God You made him to be. Continue to remind him of what You've called him to and don't let him get sidetracked with things that are unessential to Your purpose. Strike down discouragement so that it will not defeat him. Lift his eyes above the circumstances of the moment so he can see the purpose for which You created him. Give him patience to wat for Your perfect timing. I pray that the desires of his heart will not be in conflict with the desires of Yours. May he seek You for direction, and hear when You speak to his soul."

I have a prayer list a mile long today and a heart so full it could combust.
I'm piecing together recent conversations and making a patch work quilt out of what makes sense.
Talks of dreams and who I once was. Talks of hopes and who I am now. Conversations littering my mind while I build from where I'm at.
Peacefully hoping.
Prayerfully waiting.Everyone handles their path differently.
This is how I handle mine: I feel my heart through it, I write my way out, & I converse on repeat until I come to a level ground of confidence.
It's not wrong but it's not fast.
And at the moment, I want to arrive at my destination yesterday.
I'm praying & listening.

Sometimes when I pray, I realize I already have the answers--I just don't like them, so I pray a little longer hoping God will change His mind.
{He's patient.}
Sometimes I pray and I'm not sure I heard Him right so I ask again for clarity and then I hear him without hesitation.
Sometimes, it's easier not to hesitate than others.So my heart is a whirlpool of question right now and I'm asking:
God, what's your plan for me?
I see You working. I feel You moving.
I'm waiting on you because I don't have the confidence to move yet.
Lord, be patient with me and guide my every step.

I'm learning who I am as a wife. I am growing in who I am as a mother.
I know who I want to be--or who I wanted to be--and I'm digging through that earthly confusion.
One lovely moment at a time.
Just one--
at a time.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Relatively Wordless

I like to say it as it is here without apology
so here it is:
I was a tag along this weekend.
and it was FUN.

3 Girl friends meeting in one central location that I so happen to- infrequently- refer to as home.

Being that one of them is my soul sister and I work with the collective, I got to pretend I was one of them-- and I might add, I never felt I wasn't.

So while I sit and listen to the rain fall, the baby screams wishing he could command me to rescue him from his overpriced prison, and the husband is out with other photographer friends shooting in the rain, I am unwinding.

My weekend in photos....

While I would love to end this photo with the raddest thing that happened to me this weekend,
I fear you would dry heave as I did--
My soul sista and I witnessed the actual birth of a baby elephant seal.
And yes- I have ACTUAL photos.
While my soul sista cried (she's pregnant- I'm pretty sure it was joy vs. horror) and I momentarily grabbed her arm and gagged, I did shout out a victory cry for the elephant seal mama,

What's the craziest thing that you witnessed this weekend?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Recently I have really needed to get away.
I have needed to stretch and breathe and refresh outside of my routine.
I needed the chance to recharge and realign.
My cousin gave me that opportunity.On Friday I made the drive to Pasadena with no plans in mind, no itinerary, and nothing to accomplish. I was craving some down time with Tracy- someone who is not just a friend but family. Someone who gets the smaller pieces of where I come from, my inherent composition. I needed that.

The weekend included every little piece of what I needed to come home whole.
-Girl Talk
-Chips & Dip
-A Girls Night Out: Dinner & a Movie!!
-An afternoon nap
-Alone time
-Shopping, shopping, and a wee bit more shopping
I spent the weekend in a safe place without a mind racing with all that I need to do to be wife and mommy.
My UNBELIEVABLE husband was the one standing at the doorway reminding me of all the things I needed to take, encouraging me to eat before hitting the road, and pushing me to go because he knew I needed it.
I don't think I even know how badly I needed it.

I have come home to two boys that I just adore & yesterday received the great news that my HcG levels are back to normal so no more blood work and in many ways--it is behind me now.

He is SO good.
Thank you Tracy for giving me a place to heal :) Your friendships worth to me is beyond measure.
Hus, I love you. Thank YOU for running the house (or letting it run you ;) so I could recharge.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Would you like an {OPPORTUNITY}?

You may remember that I mentioned these books recently.

All I can tell you is that as I go through the Power of the Praying Wife, my heart is opening in so many ways.
Daily I am learning about how my husband was designed and in turn, I am learning about the ways that I can compliment him better.
I love what this book is doing for me.

I realize that finding the time to read and the resources to buy a book when there are so many other needs & wants can be a challenge.
I really want to take that challenge away for all of you who want the opportunity to read this book but while I can't do it for ALL of you, I can do it for one of you.

If you need this in your life-- please leave me a comment so I know you are interested.
If you would like to email me and tell me why this 3 in 1 book is really calling out to you, I'd love to hear it but it's not necessary.
Last chance to enter is Tuesday at 8pm PST.
No need to follow, no need to share I just want to give you an opportunity for a heart-lift if you want it.
It's a short give away opportunity but I really want to get this mailed to someone this week!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What would you do if....

your husband said he wanted to buy this?

I suppose some wives would say, "eww, really?!"
(I've totally done it!)
I suppose there is definitely a part of me that is thinking, "ewww, really?!"
there is this other side of me...
This other side that looks at my husband and what he does to provide for our little family,
the dreams he chases in the name of giving me and our son the best of what this world has to offer,
the man who every.single.road trip we go on says, "I miss my Malibu."
(most certainly not a modern Chevy Malibu!! Heavens no!)
He rebuilt a 1965 Chevy Malibu when he was 18.
His family & friends laughed at him when he brought the rust bucket home
(sadly, I probably would have too)
But he is the man that the more you laugh at him, the more you tell him something isn't possible the more determined he is to find a way to make it work.
He's not out to prove you wrong, he's out to prove that there is a way
because that is who he is-
impossible doesn't exist.
"Impossible" made this happen:
So for a few years I've laughed when he's shown me what he would want to rebuild.
Or I've said, "Would you STOP talking about the Malibu?!"
but I get it now
and the man deserves something impossible to prove possibility
he deserves something to call his own
something to show for his work.
And while life may not be about material things
it IS about dreaming
it IS about achieving
it IS about fulfilling who God made you to be
and God made men to take pride in themselves through their work
and God made my man to shatter the belief that some things cannot be done.

What would I do if my husband wanted to buy that thing above?
I'd tell him I love him & I believe in him.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Today my personal goal is to give WORDS of {ENCOURAGEMENT}

My praises from yesterday:
I had a lunch date with my husband and he brought me flowers.
(Looks like the random act of kindness came to me instead of from me!)

I felt more selfless in our home and as a wife and mother than I have in a long time.
I was able to make dinners, prepare lunch for the next day, give a bath, and spend time with my son while the hus worked without tallying up my good deeds in my head.
I hate admitting that I do that, but I do and it's ugly.
It means I'm always prepared to counter attack when someone points out what I didn't do...
"But here is a list of what I DID do," I'll spew out.

I started reading a book suggested to me by my friend,
along with
Its in conjunction with my desire to be INTENTIONAL {1 Day at a Time}.

I believe that just digesting the words (although I really battle with some) is helping to soothe and strengthen my heart.

While the Women's Study major in me has a REALLY hard time with being told that God designed me with the primary responsibility to take care of our home even IF I have a job,
I realized that God knows that struggle I had and last night He gave me the eyes to see my calling as a blessing vs. a battle.
He let me see that giving my husband the time to do what he needed to do to provide for us that I was being his helper vs. his opponent.

Point is, my goal for Monday ended up fulfilling itself in Tuesday
and my goal for Tuesday ended up fulfilling itself this morning...

I feel like it's similar to playing, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm going to bring..."
Do you know the game?
The one where one person starts and says "I'm going to bring a watermelon"
The next person has to say what the person before them brought and what they are bringing
"I'm going to bring a watermelon and a baseball"
And so it goes on and on and the list gets bigger with ALL of the things you and everyone are bringing.

These personal goals are just opening my heart.

Today my goal is Words of {ENCOURAGEMENT}

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It is better to GIVE than to RECEIVE

For the past few days I have been giving myself
a daily goal

Yesterday the goal was "LESS OF ME"
I wanted to challenge myself to put selfishness aside in favor of selflessness.
At the end of the day, I evaluate myself.
I find even the smallest way that I succeeded
and I go on to journal the successes, blessings, and burdens of my day.
It's a part of my {1 day at a time} as I move toward the habit of a new routine.

Today my goal is "RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS"
As I listened to the radio yesterday on my drive home from work the DJ's talked about ways that we can bless others.
Whether I am in a line at Starbucks and buy coffee for the person behind me or treat a stranger to lunch, I am able to bless others that I don't even know.
I felt renewed by this sense of "other"
I wanted to go buy coffee just so I could treat someone I didn't know.
I wanted to stop and say "Hi" to the homeless man instead of pretending he wasn't there.
I felt charged.

So today started with a prayer as I unlocked the office and turned the lights on.
I walked the halls and said aloud,
"God, I invite you here today. Use me as your hands, your eyes, and your heart. Show me how to love others the way you love them. Give me an opportunity to bless someone even if I don't know I'm doing it. Lord, be present here and let your love shine."

Today I am available for God to use me.
{1 day at a time}

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Weight of Hope

Ever felt hope but it seemed to have the weight of a lead vest?
Ever praised but simultaneously felt how closed your heart was?
Ever loved deeply but felt like pushing it all away?
Ever had so many positive intentions but they all seemed so impossible?

I don't mean to be depressing.
I hate what's pouring out of me right now.
But I am really struggling.

I am stepping in the right direction but I find myself in puddles.
I am thinking forward but drowning in things I can't define.
I am praying but feeling like it's a distant voice from my own heart.
I am desiring "okay-ity" but I am soooooo heavy.

I feel different.
I feel "over it" but everything about the weight of my heart, my mind, and my body tell me I'm not and

I find myself gazing out of windows forgetting I'm in an office.
I feel my throat close in like I want to cry but there's no specific reason.
I have friends that want to love me but I-just-CAN'T try right now.
I am blessed with a husband who wants to help me take cookies out of the oven and I lose my $&*# because I burned them.

I feel hopeless but I know what hope is.
I guess this could be called depression but this is not what depression has ever been for me- I'm not on a ledge but I am so very incapable of being anything but alone.
I feel prayer-full but my heart is incapable of FEELING the hope of praying.

So many great intentions and yet the very real need to just RUN farther than I can imagine even if I know my troubles will be my kite strings.

{image by Yann Pendaries}

Saturday, January 2, 2010

{1} day of intention at a time

I realize that the New Year brings great hope and anticipation for all the things we can do, be, and change.
For me this year, I am overwhelmed by all I want to do, fix, and become.
I am forcing myself to step back and not see this as a 365 day commitment
but a stretching before a marathon... a series of {one day at a time} before it becomes a lifestyle.

Sure, it will have failure--
days where I can't believe the wife I've been
or the mother I chose to closet in favor of selfishness
or the friend I decided to avoid being so I could mentally run away
or the daughter I was too tired to attempt being
or the sister I gave up trying to be


the goals are
1. I'll REALLY build that relationship I was once so rooted in
2. I will be intentionally prayerful for my husband & my son-- in that order because my husband should always be second to my child(ren)
3. I will record the Blessings & the Burdens that take place in life so I will always have a reminder of how far He takes me if I really let him.

One day at a time, I will LIVE intentionally
2010: My Year of INTENION