All posts tagged: grief

Easter: Pictures & Prayer

Have I left any of you IGers (Instagrammers 😉) in suspense of what our Easter pics look like? I really wanted to post them the day of, but time stopped while I enjoyed my family, and then the week took off without the down time. Soooo *drum roll please* 🥁 Below 👇🏻 are some of my favorite shots from this Easter. But first ☝🏻 a picture from last year: As I thought about this past year -from Easter 2017 to Easter 2018- I was reminded of God’s GOODNESS. And this is a big deal for me to say because I often say to him, “Well, I believe that you’re kind and that you’re gracious. But I don’t know about just down-home good.” It’s like the conversation between the Pevensie children and the Beavers in the book The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe: “Is he safe?”, the children ask, to which the Beaver replies, “Safe! Oh no. He’s not safe. But he is good, very good.” And so it is for me- doubt comes in …

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 …

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 …

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. …

Christmas :: Morning

This certainly is the strangest Christmas morning I’ve ever had. I’m alone on my couch in the pajamas I’ve worn for the past three days, I’m sick with something like the croup, my husband is working, my daughter is having a sleepover with Granddaddy & Grandmother, my baby is asleep in his crib. It’s certainly not the toughest Christmas I’ve ever had. Christmas 2014 that we should’ve had with Heidi, but she was suddenly gone before Thanksgiving, was virtually unbearable and I am amazed every year as we look back that we survived it… I don’t mourn the lack of Heidi’s presence on this day as much as I think I would… I know that she is safe and well and happy, and I have no doubts of seeing her again and being with our Savior for eternity. But I’ll tell you what does get me- watching my other two beautifully innocent children and wondering what their future in this broken world will be… I mourn that more deeply, in a way, than I do …

Heidi: Third Birthday

I remember a friend of mine who’s son passed away of SIDS, as well, twelve years prior told me that some years you let yourself remember and reflect and rejoice in that precious child’s life; and other times you don’t do all those things and that’s okay, too. It was their first child -Jackson was his name- and with their other children they wanted to always celebrate Jackson’s birthday with cake and balloons, the typical party paraphernalia for any age. But she told me that some years there was too much weight, too much grief in the days leading up to Jackson’s new number. She’d remind me, “And that’s okay, you know? Grief is like the ocean tide- it comes and it goes, it’s subtle and it’s overwhelming.” I wasn’t sure how I’d handle Heidi’s third birthday this year. But I decided that I needed to celebrate her. I made a rainbow cake and added skittles for humor since she was born the day after Halloween; my parents brought balloons and flowers and a card …

Steel :: Magnolias

When I first moved to this area five years ago, I knew a couple people but had no history connected to this city in the mountains. Everything was new. My husband and I slowly built friendships with folks in our church community. But then our Heidi suddenly died, and we suddenly had a flock of friends supporting us and carrying us through and knowing us more intimately than anyone ever had… Out of that came my very own Steel Magnolias. Women of a different season and of different experiences who became my safe place, my home away from home, voices of truth, steady and assuring companions. Now and then we take a retreat together or we meet for coffee or we fellowship in a living room for an afternoon. Today we sat around the dining table with lumps of clay, building and creating while sharing our lives together. What special people I’ve been given the privilege of knowing 💙 What sorts of intergenerational relationships do you have? What kinds of activities do you share with …

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 …

Safe :: Haven

I sometimes wonder what people think when they see my IG feed or my FB feed- these beautiful snapshots of our life at Bluebird Haven. Do they think we just have it made? That we’re so lucky? That our situation in life is enviable? It all looks idyllic, as someone once told me. But how we got here isn’t idyllic. Let me tell you what I see when I survey this place we call home. I see grace upon grace upon grace. God brought us to this place as though we were war-torn refugees. We had no home at the time and the place we’d been calling home held the stench of death. We had been living in a rental, a sweet little gingerbread style house, in a rather idyllic town that was much like Mayberry. But Death came like a thief in the night to our cozy home and ripped our hearts out of our chests. We were a bloody tortured mess. I remember my husband trying to literally tear apart the deck posts …