Last week, Cray started school. He started preschool at our church and he could NOT have been more excited.

See! A real smile!


And it is NOT a coincidence that I read Shannan’s book in the month of August when other kids were starting the school that I thought my middle man would always go to when he turned three.


You see, there is a program in our public school, where my mom teaches, that allows three, four and five year olds to attend the same classroom. So when our boys were born, I dreamed of them being in this program together. I prayed for years for their friendship and knew how much they would love going to school together and being in the same class riding with my mom everyday. In fact, I really did not ever think one of them would NOT be in that class or that this would NOT be an option.

Tomorrow, we will add a little girl to this mix but today it's hugs for my wild men. #momofboysforonemoreday #thankful @rmfinle

Until Cray did not get in.

And I was devastated. And even though, I KNEW all along that God’s plan was divine and greater, I still had trouble processing it. I was thrilled for other kids that got in because it is an incredible program that teaches the whole child and focuses on independence and problem solving skills. (All exactly the kind of child Cray is.)

But he did not get in.

And that hurt me deeply.

This is ridiculous I know but how often as parents do we think we know what is best for them? And then I got to Shannan’s chapter on “Protecting Our Children” and my friend kept telling me about it and I kind of wanted to throw my book across the room because I did NOT want to hear what Shannan had to say because I KNEW what was best for my child.

Are you sensing a pattern?!?

I don’t have a clue what’s best for him. I can parent him and guide him, but God has his little life in the palm of His hand and with all my kicking and screaming, He will have His way. Not Amber’s way or Russ’ way or his grandparent’s way. God will have His way with Cray’s life and I have to FOLLOW Him in that guidance.

(Please note that does not mean I just let him play in the street. Surely, you know what I mean when I say “I don’t know what is best.”)

And this quote smacked me right in the face and I surrendered Cray’s education fully to God.

“We elevate our family above God’s divine plan to heal humanity through his glory, but we fool ourselves when we believe we can guarantee a rubber stamp of protection and provision against their lives, prioritizing their perceived safety against our call to go swiftly to hard places.” -Shannan Martin, Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted 

For years I quoted Shannan on this very blog, I linked to her posts (you may know her as Flower Patch Farmgirl…Russ still does, at least. ;). In other words, I was all about her because she was all about God.

And I wanted more of that.

I wanted that passion. That desire. That kind of heart that was willing to change to be more like Him.

And now her story is in an actual book. In print. That you can put in your hands. It is here and it is beautiful.

It will wreck you in a beautiful way that leaves you breathless for Him and the life He lived.

A life that is NOT about us.

A life that sacrifices for Him while following His every lead, nudge, knock and PUSH.

A life that moves across county lines to the wrong side of the tracks simply because Jesus said, “Here. Right here.”

A life that wants more of Jesus and less of this world.

A life that holds meaning and brings others that much closer to what He holds.

“If I believe my less ensures someone else’s more, what else could I possibly need to know? Why is this dilemma so often a source of nagging conflict and emotional bartering instead of simple no-brainier? There’s no such thing as Haves and Have Nots within God’s upside-down community. We’re all selling ourselves on the corner without grace. We’re all split and bleeding without love. We’re stronger together. We win because we’re not alone.” – Shannan Martin, Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted

“The circle of life is echoed in the wide returning of a soul to its maker. I am from dust, and to dust I will return. Dust to dust I was made to live low. Remember this.”  – Shannan Martin, Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted

We are His. Wholly and surrendered.

P.S. You can go here to preorder it. You will be MORE than glad you did because on September 20 it will be in YOUR hands. Those of you that have been here a while know how much I adore this friend and I am so thankful for the way her words have changed my life.