All posts tagged: family

Wishing :: Wondering

Those who’ve been watching us grieve these past three and a half years tend to think that the holidays hit the hardest. No presents under the tree for Heidi, no Easter dress for Heidi, no birthday party for Heidi. And although that is absolutely so painful for us -and we do dread those more celebrated times- I find that some of the most mundane daily stuff is deeply, even bitterly, painful for me. It’s wishing I could braid her hair… It’s wondering if she’d adore pink… It’s wanting her to make cookies with us… It’s missing the snuggles and sweet kisses… It’s longing to be a complete family… The Holy Spirit has brought to mind several times recently the scripture from Ecclesiastes- “The rain falls on the just and the unjust.” I don’t get it, but that’s a fact of life. We all suffer. We all go through dark times. We all hurt. We’re either in it, leaving it, or going into it. Ya know? Maybe your daughter didn’t die in your arms like my …

Potter :: Mama

I’ve scrounged up the time -in the business of motherhood and life itself- to throw on my wheel, which is located in a corner of my parents’ basement. They live in the suburbs of this area just six minutes from my place out in the country. Eventually, we have plans of building here on our property a studio for me, one large enough for my work but also for the kids to hang out in. Until then…. I intermittently have opportunities to work in my makeshift studio that butts up to my dad’s office (what he always dreamed of- having his married daughter come back home to work in his office space 😉 ) I’ve been thinking to myself about my work as a potter and my work a mother. I love both jobs. I have a passion for them both. I have a passion for a lot of other things as well such as public speaking, Vision Therapy, brain development, and watercolor painting. But for now, at this stage of my life, I’ve picked …

Kids: Don’t Keep

I’m the sort of mom, whether it’s positive or negative, who likes to get things done- finish that pile of laundry, clean up the bathroom, do my Bible study, take the trash out, go for a walk outside- keep on truckin! But that just wasn’t happening this morning. I tried getting to my list, but my toddler kept getting in the way. “Want to wash hands, Mama!” “I need a snack, Mama!” “I want to wash Silky, Mama!” “Help, Mama!” Inside this was me: 🙄😑😖😤☹️😩 That list just wasn’t happening and being a Homemaker was right out the window with the window-washing (that I haven’t done…. like, ever). I stopped in my tracks and asked myself, “What have the voices of wisdom told me about parenting?” I heard from my mind’s memory box my former pastor’s wife tell me that when she finally had children after years of waiting that she was ready to have her life turned upside down and that she enjoyed every minute of raising three boys; I heard my longtime family …

Better :: Broken

Much of this life that we’re now living – where we live and the way we do family and the way we handle our grief and how we live with hope – would not be possible if it weren’t for counseling. Counseling is tough stuff. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not for the selfishly minded. It’s not for know-it-alls. Counseling is for folks who are broken and looking for help. And we were so devastatingly broken when we began professional counseling in 2014. Prior to Heidi’s death, we had participated in informal counseling with the teaching elder of our church and his wife; and we’d sought out consistent counseling from a couple older than ourselves during our dating years. But losing Heidi threw us onto the couch of a professional counselor who had experience as a cop in domestic violence and trauma, who had been through seminary, who is a trained clinical marital and family counselor. We needed counseling desperately, and this particular counselor was the man for the job, as it …

Parenting :: Waters

Manly and I had a good teaching moment as parents. We learned something about ourselves and humanity. And about what not to do next time…. It was freezing cold outside so we thought it’d be fun to swim at the hotel pool where Nana & Papa were staying, and Everley talks about her memories of the beach often. Win Win right? Not exactly… Thinking that she was excited about jumping in the pool with Mama & Daddy, we did just that- we jumped in! And to her dismay, the water was kind of chilly. So we sang a song and did a dance to make things exciting 😀 Bad idea. Being wound up in the positive just got her more wound up in the negative. Manly finally lifted her out of the pool because she seemed truly frightened of being in the pool. What did that result in? A sopping wet, bedraggled toddler screaming in agony that she didn’t want to be in the water or away from her daddy. It was a rather sad …

Knowing :: God

I think I’m coming to a new place in knowing God. I was raised in a Christian home and I’ve studied the Bible for myself. But as it is for all of us humans- we question everything and we get tightly wound about the things we can’t explain. I am finding in this time -three years post Heidi’s death, two years post my NICU baby, five months post my third child’s birth- that I am trusting God in a new way… I’ve trusted God to be who he says he is. Now I trust God to be with me no matter what. I’ve been at the bottom of the barrel. Maybe I haven’t sunk as low as you have; but I know what it feels like to be a victim, to have out-of-control circumstances, to be utterly consumed with fear, to wonder if life is worth living. Now that I’ve lived more of life- I don’t trust God to give me good things. I know for a fact that he will give me terrible things. …

Moments: of Grace

Maybe you’re one of those people who prayed for us in the aftermath of losing Heidi. I remember being shocked that one of my college professors had learned of our tragedy; he wrote me a letter that said, “Don’t let this stop you from having children and loving children. You were meant to be a mom and I believe God will give you more children.” Truly, we had people from all over the world praying over our broken family- a church in Indonesia, believers of Christ in Italy, a church in France, friends in Norway, people I’d never met who knew someone who knew us… the list was long and the prayers were heartfelt. Last night my husband and I were putting this miracle child to bed, and we knelt together beside her to pray like we do every night. But it didn’t feel routine in that moment- it felt miraculous. There we were- holding hands as parents, talking with our two year old, helping her understand who God is, asking for God’s blessings over …

Picture: a day

I’m going to be trying a new thing here on my blog- Posting a picture a day with a few thoughts attached to it. I’ve used my Facebook blog-page as a “sounding board” or “launch pad” for some topics that I’d like to write more about. But I really love my little blog -it started out like a craft project for me or like a collage of pictures and artwork from my home- and I want to continue using this place for most of my writing. The reality at this stage of my life with such young children is that I rarely have time to put two thoughts together much less finish a sentence. Some of you readers know of this dilemma 😉 So I’m going to attempt sharing simple thoughts and perspective from little snapshots in my part of the world. I hope you’ll tune in next time as I journal along this journey of having a family, living with grief, learning from God, and throwing with clay… all while renovating an old farmhouse …

Picture: of Grief

It’s a darling photo of a darling family. It would seem that simple. But it’s not. Something I combat as a grieving mother (yes, grief is an ongoing process) is envy or pride or something like that. When I see pictures of other happy people in their happy place….. and know that they’ve never experienced tremendous pain or loss or heartache and that their life really is just about that simple….. I scroll past the picture. Because when I look at my pictures I see people who came to a place of tender comfort from the trenches of battle. I see faces that smile though they were sullen, sore saddened shoulders that have been raised upright again, arms that envelop two precious lives… and ache for the other precious child. I see people who have suffered and wept and torn their hearts out and bloody beat the ground with woeful words to God. I see people who have a story that’s dug deep & long gnarled roots into the ground of God’s truth in order …

Happy Birthday, Sugar

Oh, Sugar. Oh, Honey-Bunches-of-Oats. You’ve been the cream in my coffee all year long. What a delightful year it was. Your one year birthday celebration was a smash hit with about 60 people here to commemorate your special life and to rejoice in God’s good gifts to this family. All are smitten with you- your infectious smile and almond shaped eyes and thick eyebrows and rosy cheeks and endearing little voice. At your birthday last year you were just a crawler and the “Nap Queen,” so your jammies say. Truly, you were delightful every day with your amiable disposition, fascination with the world around you, satisfied little laugh, and seemingly perceptive sense of humor. After your birthday bash, you and I had a quiet month of September at home, attending story hour at the library, baking goodies, making friends. Then we had a whirlwind of October on our trip to Aunti Gina’s in Newport Beach followed by a two week separation for the anniversary HI trip when you stayed home with GaGa & Mongie (as …