healthy family

I Am Not a Savior


I spent the first years of my marriage trying to make sure everything was perfect for my husband.

If he didn’t love the way I cooked a meal, I would change it the next time.

If the traffic was bad on the way to get where we were going, I would look for another route the next time.

If he got frustrated or angry at a situation, I would feel like a failure and try to anticipate that need and fix it the next time around.

He DID NOT blame me for situations going wrong around him. Yet I almost ALWAYS felt guilt and took responsibility for his reactions.

I did this because I thought that was what ‘good wives’ did. I thought my role as a wife was to make my husband happy. I was to think of him first before myself, right? My goal was to make his life painless. I did not write out this goal, I did not even consciously make this goal. But as I look back, I know that’s what I was trying to do.

I was actually pretty good at it too.  I am an organized person, a planner.  So I meticulously planned out events.  I am an overachiever, so when he said he would prefer something done differently, I jumped on it and learned how to do it differently.  I tried to stay one step ahead and clean up the messy footprints behind.

The first years of our marriage I was filled with a lot of unspoken sadness, frustration, and feelings of failure. I loved my husband. We had some ridiculously fun times and a lot of laughs. Still, I had an overwhelming feeling of drowning. Like I could never be good enough.

Around year eight I somehow realized that Brian did not marry me to be his mother. He was a full-on adult and he had deliberately chosen to get married and leave his mother. He had chosen me to be his companion. He chose me to be his friend, his lover, his partner.

This realization was freeing.  I no longer felt responsible for all his actions.  I did not stress about making sure he was fulfilling all his responsibilities.  I stopped feeling responsible when he overslept or when a family activity did not go as planned.  It was a turning point on my side of the relationship, but it still felt like something was off.  Something was missing.

It wasn’t until recently, year twelve of marriage, that I looked back on those early years and saw that I was not trying to be Brian’s mom after all. I was trying to be his Savior. Maybe more accurately, I was trying to erase his need for a savior all together.

His reactions to things that went wrong were often sinful. I took it as a personal mission to remove his sinful reactions by creating an atmosphere that was perfect. Again, he did not ask me to do this. I wrongly assumed it was my duty to do this. I thought I could place my husband in a perfect home environment, plan perfect family outings, give perfect advice for his problems, and respond perfectly to his requests and he would, in turn, be perfect in this atmosphere I had created.

That feels crazy when I say it so bluntly. 

The truth is, I can never create a perfect atmosphere. And it has never been my “job” to try.

I have changed the goal in my mind from being perfect to pointing to the One who is perfect. If I have a “job” as a wife, it is to point my husband to a perfect God each time he sins.

The reality of this is not easy.

For Brian marriage was honestly a lot more fun when I was making sure everything went his way. He didn’t know I was doing this and didn’t ask me to, but once I stopped ‘catering to him’ things had to get tougher before they could get better.

His changes did not come as a result of me telling him he needed to change. They came as a result of prayers on both of our parts. It came from me starting to feel safer opening up and sharing my heart with him. I began to tell him how I truly felt. I told him the times I was feeling like a failure so he could be aware of how his reactions were impacting me. And he began taking on a new role of guarding my heart.  

I really don’t know what would have happened to our marriage in the early days if I hadn’t been like I was. Maybe he would have spiritually matured a lot faster, maybe I stunted his growth.

We will never know. I just know I wish we had the marriage we have now back then.

I know we can’t go back and change the events and the attitudes that have brought us to the point we are at now, but I know we can surrender our current attitudes and habits and beg God to help us change.

And I know this is a continual work. It is a work that needs God’s Grace and mercy and love all over it. Because I am not a Savior, and each time I try to be one for someone—I will fail. But HE is a Savior and He will never fail.


healthy family

The One Phrase that Upsets this Grieving Parent


me beckett beach square

I am a mother who has lost a child.

I am reminded of this every day.

I don’t say that to get sympathy. I am simply stating a fact.

I know some of you reading this know what I am talking about first hand. You have lost an unborn child, an infant, a toddler, a teenager, or an adult child. No matter the age, if you have lost a child you don’t forget that. Others reading this thankfully do not have personal knowledge, but you can imagine that you would never forget losing a child.

Sometimes I remember my sweet Beckett when one of my other kids mentions him. Sometimes I remember him when I see another child around his age and think of what he would be doing now.   Yesterday I found one of his big green pacifiers under our bed.

We have photos around our home and multiple boxes full of memories. Remembering Beckett is special. It’s something I WANT to do.

A year and a half into this life, I know people are still nervous about saying the wrong thing around me. I don’t want people to walk on eggshells around me. I like remembering my son. I don’t mind if you, or your child, brings him up in a conversation.

Obviously, every grieving parent is different. But as for me, I’m not easily upset or offended. People around me say things without thinking and it normally doesn’t bother me. They can talk about their kids annoying them, and I don’t secretly shame them and think, ‘They should be thankful they have kids’. Listen, my kids annoy me sometimes too. It’s life. It’s not perfect, we aren’t perfect. I’m okay with that.

But there is one popular phrase that I just can’t stay silent about any longer.

It’s something I see on memes, t-shirts and coffee mugs. I hear it in conversations around me. It’s become the funny catch phrase of mom’s everywhere. It comes in many forms, but the punch line is usually:

“I kept the kids alive today, go me!”


“Goal: Keep the tiny humans alive”

google and pinterest search
If you are unfamiliar with this phrase, do a quick Google or Pinterest search and you’ll see it.


I get it. There is this whole mommy war/mom guilt culture going on where moms feel pressure to perform and live a Pinterest life. These memes are trying to put the pressure to be perfect to the side and focus on what’s really important in parenting.

But let me tell you, from my angle—these are painful.

The biggest thing I struggle with in my grief is a sense of failure. My job as a mom is to protect my child. And my child died. I know in my head that his death was not because of something I did or did not do. It was not my fault. I know that. But I still struggle with the nagging feeling of failure.

I have hesitated to write this post for so long because I do not want sympathy. (I’ll take prayer any day!), and I do not want to shame really good moms who I have seen jokingly use this phrase.

My aim is simply to make you think twice and make you think deeper.

I mentioned a sense of failure I feel. Failure is directly related to what we believe the goal is. If your goal really is just to keep your kids alive, then share the meme, buy the coffee mug—go all out. But when I look deep inside, that’s not my goal. And I’m willing to bet it’s not really your goal either.

Brian and I have a mutual goal in parenting, and it’s this:

We want our kids to experience a great love.

First, we pray they know the overwhelming love that comes from our Great God.

Then we pray they are secure in an unconditional love from their family, no matter the circumstances around them.

We also want them to display a love for other people and to love and enjoy the beauty of the world around them.

parenting goal

When your goal is for your child to experience love, you can accomplish this no matter how short their life is.

And if you show this love to your children, don’t be ashamed of it and don’t minimize it! In aiming to not shame other moms, I fear that we have gone too far to the other extreme. We are almost afraid to share the really good moments in life because we are afraid of sugar coating our life, or coming across like we have it all together. Let me put your mind at ease: nobody thinks you are perfect all the time. (And if they do, that’s on them—not on you!)

If you think I am perfect all the time, come live in my house for a day. It might not take that long, come visit for a few hours. In that time you will see me lose my patience, you may see me staring at my phone instead of the Lego creation my kid just made. You may find them sitting in front of the TV instead of a book.   You may see me eat a piece of chocolate instead of a carrot!

But you will also see me hug and love my kids. You might see me get down on their level and listen to a story they want to share about their day. You could see me work for an hour on a really healthy meal that will nourish my family. And you would be invited to sit with us around the table as we engage in real, meaningful conversation. And I’m not embarrassed about any of this. Because the truth is, you might be inspired to do the same in your own home!

I hope no one ever feels shame or embarrassment that they don’t measure up to the Wright family. Goodness, we should not be a ruler for anyone! But I do pray that our lives point to a God who gives us strength to live an intentional life full of His love.

Sweet struggling mom, I don’t want to call you out, I want to call you up.

I want to challenge you to pray and set some goals for your family that go a little further than just staying alive. Yes this life is hard. There are seasons of survival. I have been there. We have walked through that time. But that is not the season I want to live in forever. And it’s a season you don’t have to live in forever. There is hope. There are glimpses of really good even in the middle of bad. Open your eyes, sweet friend, and give yourself some credit when you see it.

Let’s start now and let’s start here. Comment below and tell me a parenting moment you are proud of or something in life you have succeeded in recently. Don’t do this to show the world how perfect you are, do it to encourage the rest of us.

Let’s be people that inspire each other!


healthy family

Four Ways Grief has Changed Our Family


Today marks one year since we lost our baby boy, Beckett.   In the past year we have learned a lot about grief and we have been changed by grief.

Our family has changed 4 different ways this year.

1) Brian
2) Rebekah
3) Brooklyn
4) Boston

Probably one of the hardest things to handle for Brian and I was this summer when four-year-old Boston started verbalizing his questions and grief. For a few weeks straight he prayed, “God, please send Beckett back to us.” He told us each on different occasions, “I didn’t know Beckett was going to die.” We have patiently explained that we didn’t know either and answered questions to the best of our ability.

We have prayed as seven-year-old Brooklyn has become more introspective and less talkative about her grief.

I am an introvert. I don’t feel comfortable talking in depth about all I am feeling. It takes an intimate setting and a lot of trust to pull these conversations out of me in person. But I also process my thoughts with a cup of coffee and a keyboard. I have found comfort in writing privately and publically throughout the year. Being around people often drains me.

Brian is more extroverted than me. He might not like to talk about his emotions, but he is energized when he is with a group of friends having fun and deep conversations about other aspects of life.

We hit ten years of marriage this year. I had long thought this was a milestone that would put me in the “expert” category. (I’m only slightly joking) Instead of feeling like we had things figured out after ten years of marriage, we found ourselves feeling more like we had no idea who we were anymore.

Grief is as individual as the people experiencing it. I don’t feel I can give any advice on how to comfort someone else going through the same situation we did, unless I know that person. It’s not about what has happened, it’s about whom it has happened to.

I don’t know what to say to anyone else, but I know how we have handled this year.

We have loved each other where we are. It’s been hard. But when Brian looks at me, or hears what is coming out of my mouth, and doesn’t recognize me, He has shown me love anyway. I don’t expect Brian to be the same husband today that he was a year ago. I don’t expect myself to be the same mom I was a year ago.

This is true for us in grief, but I think it’s a good rule for all relationships. People change. Hopefully we are changing and growing in good ways, sometimes we aren’t. But life is constantly changing and people change with it. In friendship we have to give people room to change. I love the friends that I can sit and talk with and explore new thoughts and concepts I am learning and not feel like I have to apologize for contradicting something I previously said. I’m not talking about being inconsistent, I’m talking about growing and changing as people and leaving room for others to do that in our relationships.

Grief is not something I like experiencing. But change—that’s becoming exciting. As we round the one-year corner, we are starting to feel a fresh stirring in our souls. I am starting to feel expectant for the year to come. I know God has not left us this past year, and I am excited to see what He has in store for the coming year. And I am excited to share those lessons with others.



I like my husband.



Sharing a drink with my friend, Brian Wright, at Taco Bell on Valentine’s Day 2005
(2 years before we had our first Valentine’s Day as an actual couple)



It’s Valentine’s day, so I feel it’s appropriate to take this time to say, I like my husband.

With our not quite normal life on the road, there are many times when Brian and I are together  ALL. THE. TIME.  A few weeks ago my mother-in-law even asked, “Don’t you two ever get sick of each other?”  Um, yes.  Yes, there are times when we both crave personal space and time alone.  But for the most part we really do love spending time with each other and the abundance of family time is one of the things we love most about deputation.

I said before I’m not an overly emotional person.  In our first years of marriage when Brian would know I was upset about something he would always ask, “You don’t like me right now do you?”  I would answer with, “I love you” and he would fill in the blanks with, “But you don’t like me right now.”

In my mind I was supposed to love my husband.  That’s what the Bible taught and that’s what people always said.  But I was allowed to not always like him, wasn’t I?  I mean nobody always likes their spouse.

There is a verse in the Bible where Paul tells the older women in the church to teach the younger women to love their husbands (Titus 2:4).  It always seemed self-explanatory to me until I read a little deeper into it a few years ago.

In the Greek language there are different types of love.  What I always assumed Paul meant here was to love my husband with agape love.  That’s the self-sacrificing, I love you more than myself, kind of love that we always hear about with marriage.  In reality Paul used the word phileo here.  This type of love is a friendship love.  Why would Paul, inspired by God, say to teach women friendship love?

Because, speaking as a woman, I know I can do sacrificial love.

I can do a whole lot for my husband—laundry (even fold it and put it away), clean up the house so it looks nice when he comes home, take care of the kids, cook his favourite meals and let him hold the remote or pick the restaurant!

I can do sacrificial love. . . all without actually liking my husband.

When I read Paul telling the women to teach this kind of friendship love it makes me believe I am not alone.  In fact, the need for God to address it in His Word lets me know it is a weakness we might all struggle with.  Maybe you don’t have a husband but you can see this in your relationship with a parent, close friend, or even your kids.

When it comes to phileo love, it involves our emotions.  More importantly, it involves controlling our emotions.  I would make the connection that controlling our emotions is tied very closing to controlling our thought life.  And Paul has another great verse for that as well.  Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are true.  The truth is, I am a sinner just like Brian.  Before I hold his sins against him, I need to remember that God doesn’t hold mine against me.

Instead of thinking of myself as a martyr by serving my husband even when I don’t “feel” like it, I have instead tried to learn to love him with a phileo love.  It’s a love that is kind and attentive, not because it has to be, but because it wants to be.  When I realize my emotions and thoughts are not going in the same direction as my self-sacrificing love, I can go through a list of questions in my mind: Am I focusing on what is true?  Am I loving my current circumstances or spending my time dreaming of better?  Am I loving the person I am committed to loving, or dreaming of a different scenario?  Have I tried to see this situation from his point of view? The questions to ask yourself are personal to you, but chances are you know what they are.

It’s been about a year since I read this truth about the verse, and I would love to say I have learned my lesson.  But there are still times Brian turns to me at the end of a long day and says, “You don’t like me right now do you?”   The change is that I no longer take this as an opportunity to let him know what a saint I am for still sacrificially loving him.  I now realize that it is proof that I am not making the effort and time to love my husband as a friend.

So today we will let that mother-in-law that thinks we are weird watch our two kids and I will go out on a date with the guy that I have been friends with for 10 years.  We will probably just eat lunch, drink coffee/Dr. Pepper and laugh together.  We will work at this thing we call our marriage because at the end of the day I want to be able to look over at him and say,

I like my husband.