The Blog

Starting to Unravel: Part II

Note: The following post is an excerpt from the introduction of my forthcoming book, “Unraveled: Finding Joy When Your Plans Come Undone.”

Like many couples of our generation, we had debt. But not just “normal” consumer debt like cars and credit cards (which we had) but we also had a massive mountain—a mortgage worth of debt otherwise known as student loans.

And finally, after eleven years of struggling to make minimum payments, we were on a warpath to once and for all finally get rid of it and become debt free.

Does this sound like you or someone you know?

We wanted financial freedom! We wanted to go on more family vacations! We wanted to travel with, and sometimes without, the kids. We wanted to make sure our boys’ futures were prepared and planned for, unlike our own. (Which is another story for another chapter.)

Our marriage had been through the ringer the past decade, and now, we were finally getting to a place where we could make true headway. We’d planned carefully, thoughtfully, and were on a path that would eventually let us see there was light at the end of this deep, dark tunnel—and it wasn’t an oncoming freight train.

And so, we made plans. Did I mention I like making plans? I mean, I designed my own daily goal planner for Pete’s sake! (Side note: my husband is often jealous of Pete and my mentioning him.) I bet you probably like to make plans too. It’s fun to dream. It’s exciting to write it down and see it there on paper—on purpose. Planning makes it real.

And part of that plan meant that we were done growing our family. It was a calculated decision. We spent the years surrounding the birth of our third son praying over it. We’d been in the family building phase for a decade. And to be honest, we were done with diapers, totally over the midnight feedings, and out of patience with toddler tantrums, and we were looking forward to the next phase of our lives—parenting these adorable tiny humans who’d taken over our home, our free time, and our energy.

My husband and I made the very delicate decision to be happy and content with our family of five. And our personal financial picture played a concrete role in making that decision. I mean, THREE kids’ college tuition was going to be a big enough task to support in the coming future, right? We wanted to be responsible. So, we made the next logical decision. Fair warning, the next part may be TMI.

Now, I am very proud of and grateful that my body has naturally given birth to three babies, so it only made sense at this point in our lives for the hubby to go get snipped! I mean, hello—it was totally his turn!

And he willingly did. Let’s just say he followed the doctor’s orders—to a tee.

That was September of 2017.

I held a positive pregnancy test in my hands in April of 2019.


While most people find this moment a joyful occasion, I stood in my bathroom in disbelief. It was entirely unexpected and unplanned!

Have you been there? Maybe not with a positive pregnancy test even after a vasectomy, but you found yourself suddenly holding something heavy when moments before there wasn’t something? Something you didn’t plan for. I’m guessing so, by the mere fact that you’re reading this book right now.

Perhaps you’ve experienced a sudden down-sizing of your company, or the death of a family member. Maybe it’s something a bit more subtle, yet somehow still feels life altering, such as not getting the raise you were hoping to receive, or a friend not coming through for you when they said they would.

Life is certainly full of unexpectedness. And yet, as believers, we are taught through Christ’s example to expect. To be hopeful. I heard Steve Backlund, associate pastor of Bethel Church, say once, “Hope is simply the expectation of good things to come.”

If we do not hope nor believe in hope, then joy cannot thrive. And second to love, joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit that can move us to action. If we have joy, we are more selfless. If we are joyful, we will love others better.

In that moment of staring down at that positive pregnancy test, I felt hopeless. I did not feel joyful. I was frozen, unable to move, and I was only thinking of myself. Little did I know it at the time, but over the course of my pregnancy, it got me thinking—we don’t know where to find joy amid the hardships in life.

So I wondered: Can you find joy? Can joy be created? How do we use joy to live with purpose and intention? Is joy a choice or merely something you possess?

The great news is there are answers to these questions that we will explore through this journey together.

Tell me – are you a busy mom who’s plans have been unraveled? (With kiddos – that seems to be an every day occasion!) Or are you merely searching for more time in your chaotic schedule so you can be purposeful and find that joy your soul longs for?

If so – I’ve got something that can help! I created my FREE Time-Savvy Supermom Guide that includes my Five Simple Shortcuts to help you take back your time AND take care of yourself & your family in the process.

Click here to get your FREE guide now!

Each shortcut includes easy-to-incorporate steps and I’m so sure this resource will help you discover hours in your day that you didn’t think you had!

Share in the comments which shortcut you’ve tried and how it’s helped you break free from the overwhelm, get rid of the mom-guilt, and experience more joy every day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *