Making it Home: A Guest Post by Emily Wierenga

I’m honored to share a post with you today written by my friend, Emily Wierenga. This is a story about her journey home, and it’s packed with beauty as her writing often is. 

Emily is a poet, and a writer whom I deeply admire. I’m always awed by those who can string together sentences laced with a poetic glimpse into the world around them. It’s a depth of writing that I don’t possess. Sure, I manage to pen a few singing words here and there on occasion, but then my brain is all “Slow down there, Emily Dickenson! Why don’t you back that train up.”

At which point I am compelled to share such priceless gems as “For realz,” and “I can’t even!” Or my favorite, “Hot dang!”

And so it is that I’m thrilled to share Emily’s poetic prose with you today, and I’d love it if you hopped over to purchase her new book, Making it Home. The time spent reading Emily’s writing is always well spent.

Thank you, Emily, for the gift of your words!


I’m sitting and drinking my tea from the Korean mug, the house breathing around me. I’m reading Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies, but for a moment I fold the page, close the cover, lean back and remember Korean days: that tiny square apartment beside the fire station, stamps in our passports and as many countries as possible stitched onto my backpack.

I had studied the Lonely Planet guidebook and learned the language on tape in the months before Trent and I moved to Wonju, a city nestled in the mountains east of Seoul, and we taught English there, for a year, traveling to Japan and China and Thailand on the weekends, and now, I study cookbooks. I plan homeschool, and some days, like today, I stare out the window with mugs of tea and wonder how I got here.

And even as our house slumbers, it’s alive—with peanut-butter kisses on the windows and red wine stains on the carpet.

Home is Uncle John’s bathroom reader beside the toilet, the smell of a strawberry rhubarb candle a lady from church brought me when I miscarried. I light it every time I have a shower. It smells like mercy.

Home is the pile of books, Thomas the Train and Dora the Explorer and Winnie the Pooh, thrown from Kasher’s bed, because he always reads them before he goes to sleep and then he habitually tosses them. It’s the bear’s ear stuck in his mouth which he sucks. It’s the infant newness that still clings to his two-year-old cheek during sleep.

It’s the long lashes of Aiden, the green bunny in his arms and the flashlight by his hand. It’s his footy pajamas with the feet cut off because he’s three and a half and broken through the toes.


Beside me, a rough-hewn bookshelf made by Trenton out of barn boards. There’s the coffee table made from the same boards, the children’s chairs—Mickey, Minnie and Dora which are bent out of shape from Aiden and Kasher using them to wrestle.

Home is the pile of dirty clothes by Trenton’s side of the bed, the stack of books on either of our bedside tables—mine all literary and dark or devotional, and his historical or fantastical and us meeting in the middle under a feather down. It is the smell of baby powder fabric softener.

Home is me climbing the stairs to the kitchen, the crab apples we picked still piled in a bucket and the others, turning into apple leather in the oven. Bowls of apple juice waiting to be frozen on the counter and it’s Trenton emerging from the office and seeing me. Saying, “It feels like I haven’t seen you in forever,” when really it’s been 20 minutes.

It’s the smell of his skin when he pulls me in.

The house hums like it’s in love: the dryer’s tenor, the dishwasher’s soprano, and the refrigerator with a low bass.

My tea is gone. The sun setting fast as it does in the fall, like it can’t wait to tuck behind fleecy clouds and I hear my boys rising. Whimpering in their bunk-beds and Trent’s calling them. “Aiden, Kasher, come to Daddy,” and their feet on the rungs of the ladder and the carpet, running, pushing open our bedroom door and jumping into bed.

I place my mug in the sink and find my way down, past the creaky stairs, into that room, and the boys squeal when they see me and we all hold each other in the light of the afternoon.

And home is making me.

This excerpt is taken from Emily Wierenga’s new memoir (the sequel to ATLAS GIRL), Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity and Purpose. Order HERE.


What does it mean to be a woman and to make a home? Does it mean homeschooling children or going to the office every day? Cooking gourmet meals and making Pinterest-worthy home décor? In Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity, and Purpose, author and blogger Emily Wierenga takes readers on an unconventional journey through marriage, miscarriage, foster parenting and the daily struggle of longing to be known, inviting them into a quest for identity in the midst of life’s daily interruptions. Get your copy HERE. Proceeds benefit Emily’s non-profit, The Lulu Tree.

Get FREE downloadable chapters from Making It Home HERE.



Sign up for the FREE Making It Home webcast featuring Liz Curtis Higgs, Holley Gerth, Jennifer Dukes Lee and Jo Ann Fore (with Emily Wierenga as host), 8 pm CT on September 10, 2015, HERE. Once you sign up you’ll be automatically entered for a giveaway of each of the author’s books!


Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, columnist, artist, author, founder of The Lulu Tree and blogger at Her work has appeared in many publications, including Relevant, Charisma, Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, Christianity Today, Dayspring’s (in)courage and Focus on the Family. She is the author of six books including the travel memoir Atlas Girl and speaks regularly about her journey with anorexia. She lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Trenton, and their children. For more info, please visit Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

It’s Time to Live Free


I was twelve the first time someone made me aware of my body shape. A friend held up a magazine, and on the cover was a waif-ish model, for this was the early ’90’s, and very thin was very in. This friend of mine was also stick thin, her body shape so different from my more athletic build.

“This is what you need to try to get to,” she said. “If you were thinner, we could share clothes.”

That was all it took. The tiny seed of insecurity planted in my formative mind, and from that day forward, the image I saw in the mirror was a distorted version of my true self.

It wasn’t a fast descent into bulimia for me, but more of a slow fade. It started with the comment from my thin friend. This only got the wheels turning, and I began to limit my food portions because maybe she was right. Maybe there was an easy solution to my “problem.”

A few months after that first comment, my gymnastics coach yelled at me from across the gym after a particularly rough training day on floor. “What’s the matter with you today? You sound like a cow trying to tumble out there. Stop being so heavy on your feet!”

Looking back on it now, I don’t think she was calling me fat. The lightest of gymnasts can sound heavy when not tumbling properly. But the seed had already been planted, and so my youthful heart translated her words to mean something different than intended, and the slippery slope on which I stood grew steeper.

I traveled a battled path with eating for a decade. From the ages of 13-23, I fought this fight, knowing in my heart that my relationship with food was an unhealthy one. I sought counsel, saw doctors, asked for prayer, and tried to beat it on my own. I was ashamed of my inability to control myself around food, and I hated that when I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t seem to see what everyone else saw.

I thought it would get better when I got married. Somehow, I thought the committed love of a man would free me of all insecurities because, after all, I didn’t need to impress anyone anymore, right?

But it didn’t get better and, in fact, my shame grew, because now the harm I did to my body directly affected my husband.

Finally, in early March, 2002, I’d had enough. I was so tired of fighting the battle, and I fell to my knees after another day of failing with food.

“Take it from me, Lord! I don’t want this anymore! I just want to be done.”

Read the rest at

Join me at Mercy Found Ministries!

I’m posting at Mercy Found Ministries today. Join me there? Thanks, friends, and Happy Monday!


This post is written to the parents who have walked the heartache of a terminated or disrupted adoption. It’s a unique situation to be in – a club no one wants to join. I want you to know today one very important thing:

Your grief is real, and it is valid.


Perhaps you’re right in the midst of this trial. Maybe it is something you experienced long ago. Either way, the loss of a child through a disrupted adoption leaves a lasting scar.

It’s a mark on the heart that heals, but never really leaves.

When our adoption was terminated, I struggled with exactly how to process it. I wondered if perhaps I was overreacting, if my emotions were displaced and over-dramatic. I feared that people saw me as whiny, and perhaps more emotional than necessary considering the fact that we had not even met the child we were hoping and praying to adopt.

For the most part, this inner strife was self-imposed. I didn’t have a string of insensitive remarks being flung my way to back these these feelings of inadequacy. This was my own struggle, and it gnawed at me for a long time.

Did I really deserve to be so sad over our failed adoption attempt?

I walked through those early days after it all fell apart in a fog. In fact, I can barely remember the month of January, 2013. It is very hazy. Grief does that – it clouds the mind, and shrouds the memory with a sense of heartache that you never really escape.

Every day, I was sure that the people around me rolled their eyes behind my back, ready for me to get over it and move on. I questioned God, trying to make some theological sense of our predicament.

Did we really lose a child, or was there never a child planned in the first place, since He is All-Knowing, and He knew from the beginning that we would not be able to complete the process?

My mind spun throughout the long, dark hours of the night, trying to break it all apart, to make some sense of it all. It was a “chicken or the egg” riddle without a clear-cut answer, and it made me crazy….

Read the rest of this post at Mercy Found Ministries.

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