All posts filed under: Grief

Why :: Write

I had a recent conversation with someone I love & respect, and in this conversation I was being prodded and challenged to consider why I write what I write. I was taken aback that my loved one didn’t understand the backbone of my writings. It was jarring to me and I’ve taken a backseat to think things through. Why DO I blog? What am I trying to convey to readers? What do I care about in my own life? Why do I verbalize the raw parts of my life? So, I’ll share my journal notes to myself about why I blog and then you can comment about what you think of it. How’s that? Discussion is good. Feedback is good. Sometimes I feel like I’m just blogging out into the void, but then some of you write to me privately about your own stories and your own inspirations. That means a lot to me. I think that most of the time I write for therapeutic reasons and as a form of artistic outlet, but I …

Who’s :: There

I’ve been working my way through a Beth Moore Bible study titled Breaking Free. I chose to host a study group in my home this year, because I knew my availability as a stay-at-home mother would be limited; and I also wanted to invite anyone in my community to share & fellowship. Despite having good reasons for it, I was also hesitant & apprehensive. I thought, “Break free? Do I even want to know what this sort of study will entail? I think I just want to stay in my corner of grief & sadness. I don’t think I can ever break free from the fact that my firstborn daughter died in my arms.” So, in case you think I’m a goody-goody Christian girl, think again. I’ll tell you the truth before you read the rest of this post- I haven’t broken free from my pain & suffering. I’ve actually come to accept it and live with it and see God there with me in it. I think sometimes that’s all those of us who …

Through: the Forest

You know that phrase, “seeing the trees through the forest”? We referred to it often when I was a Vision Therapist. Sometimes we are so focused on the tree in front of us and the tree to our left and the tree to our right that we become overwhelmed… as a result we’ve lost perspective and we’ve gotten lost in the forest of trees. We’re no longer seeing the trees that make up the whole forest. (In Vision Therapy this is known as central focus and parafieral awareness 😉)  The holiday season for us is much like this phenamanon. We tend to just see all the trees -sadness, despair, loss, misery- and no forest -God who is sovereign over these emotions. Or we see a thick dense forest of pain and anger that will consume us and we miss the individual trees of blessing and hope.  It is difficult to explain to those who have not suffered during the holiday season how much resentment, turmoil, and bitterness is wrapped up under the cheer, lights, ornaments, …

Forever :: Friendship

It is difficult for our friends – who have not lost or suffered greatly – to understand and enter into the pain of those of us who are grieving. What can they do to lighten our darkness? What can they say to give hope? How can they unlock the cold devastation that has quarantined us? — My best best friend and I have a unique and unusual friendship. We have literally known each other our entire lives. We’ve never known life without each other. Born two months apart, our parents members of the same church, growing up the first five years in the same county, remaining pen pals half a world apart for eight years, living together part of high school, meeting our spouses online and marrying six months apart qualifies us as the most bonded best friends ever. In our opinion 😉 We’re quite obviously sisters from another mother since we’re a foot apart in height, she’s the natural beauty and I’m plain jane.  But when Heidi died I didn’t hear from her. My …

Free: As a Bird 

Did you get a chance to follow along with us on Instagram during our adventures in Maui? My husband and I took off -leaving kid, kitties, puppies and chickens to fend with grandparents- for a ten day island vacation/anniversary retreat.  We needed it. We needed a break from life. We needed an oasis for our marriage.  Thankfully all participants survived this experience and all, mostly all, have settled back into good ol’ farm life.  Maybe you knew- my husband and I arrived home from our long journey on our daughter Heidi’s birthday. She is two years old and celebrating the beauty of two in Heaven. We had scheduled our trip around her birthday so that we would be home in time for it, in time to do something special in commemoration. But airplane mechanics got the better of our “best laid plans,” so we were delayed a couple days; which meant that our crash landing into reality left us jet lagged, frustrated, and disoriented. We hit the ground painfully hard with a literal nail in …

Darker :: Days

When I lay [my] questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of No answer. It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but in waving the question. Like, “Peace, child; you don’t understand.” -C.S. Lewis I recently experienced a very heavy darkness that lasted about a month- through E’s first birthday. While Little Hiccup transitions into being a year old, with all the successes and failures of it, I am broken hearted, my soul is downcast within me- that I never got to watch my daughter Heidi grow through those changes.  Not only have I wept, I have also been angry. “Fuck. No one else will have their baby taken from them in the middle of the night. No one else but me. I’m alone. No one knows the depths of my pain.” I have shouted that through the darkness of my soul. If I’m honest with myself, I’m railing at God.  Why? …

Vlog: Morning Visit

It was a breezy July day and I had a small window of downtime, so I considered how to answer some of your – you readers & friends – questions about my process with grief. Some have asked big broad questions like, “How did you survive?” Others have asked more pertinent questions like, “What gave you hope when you felt dark inside?” , “What did you believe about God that impacted the way you grieved?”. With coffee in hand I addressed some of these thoughts in a casual candid way- on my porch listening to the wind chimes and the morning birds. This is my invitation to you. If you’ve never wrestled with God about the things you don’t understand, He invites you to do that; if you’ve never read the scriptures about who God is, He’s left the door wide open for you to do that, too. Here’s part of my journey- the things I’ve struggled with, the thoughts I’ve had, the sorrows I’ve felt, the beliefs that’ve laid the foundation, the philosophy of …

Heart Ache :: Take Heart

Weeks have gone by without writing, because I’ve been savoring this sweet summer with my nearly one-year-old daughter. Though I live the typical cloistered motherhood life for now, I choose not to disconnected from the newsfeed of the world. Something I remember registering when Heidi passed so suddenly was that I was not the only one suffering, in tremendous pain, unspeakably devastated, questioning God. It felt like the world around me was silent, content, and peaceful, but even though I “felt” that way didn’t mean it was true. The truth is I met and continue to meet people who are suffering serious hardships. The truth is – the world is always suffering, because it’s tainted by evil. This Sunday morning, a breezy July day, my husband and I woke up late and after much discussion resigned ourselves to staying home for personal, rather than corporate, worship. We played some uplifting music and then sat on our porch to watch an online sermon. The moment seemed so tranquil but the message was not about tranquility. Rather …

Together: In the Storm

Many of you, my friends, are petitioning God for relief at this juncture in your life. Maybe you’ve lost another child, maybe you’re in the hospital with a serious illness, maybe you’re alone and lonely, maybe you doubt your marriage will be restored, maybe you don’t know how to escape from your abuser. My friend, I am praying for you today. Fervently, continually, faithfully, passionately. I have been to very dark places in my journey with Jesus. Have you heard of the book Hind’s Feet in High Places? I love that little book. I read it as a teenager and cried my way through the allegory. Much-Afraid’s journey is much like my own… When I wonder about life, when I am tempted to despair, when I question God’s choices, when I feel overwhelmed- I envision myself walking on the beach with God. By His side, watching His pierced feet press into the sand, reaching out to hold His hand as He reaches for mine, sensing His understanding as I walk with my head down and …

Look Out :: Heidi Lee

Heidigirl, I bet you’ll be my best pregnancy and my best birth. I was at my best when I carried you and when I brought you into this world. Do you remember all the things we did and all the moments we shared? Do you remember being born at lightning speed? I want to relive the memories with you, Heidi Lee, so you wanna look at some pictures with me? Your Daddy and I were SHOCKED- to put it mildly- that we were having a baby. We wanted to keep the announcement on the DL, so we waited till you’d been around for 16 weeks, and then we had these pictures taken on Memorial Day weekend (by the ever talented Abby Vencil & Emma Potter- they both got to meet you when you were born, remember?). Good ol’ Luke- he was getting worn out from a life well lived, but he kept himself going till you came along. And good little Molle…. I’m sure you remember all the crazy loud, ridiculously wacky moments I had with …