All posts tagged: hope

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 …

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 …

The Mama Diaries 

I’ve been mulling over the coming new year and what that means to me as a mom. What it means to me as Everley’s mom. Naturally, I think about the new shoes and outfits she’ll be able to wear; the dresses I bought her when she was tiny and she probably won’t fit them till this summer; the dolls she’ll play with more than she does now and the skills she’ll discover the more she plays; the bigger smiles and the louder giggles that she’s sure to produce; the adventures we’ll take together on play dates and family vacations… It will be a whole new year of exciting discovery with EveyMarie, and I am ready! More than just the fun stuff… I’m mulling over what I want her to know about the world around her, even at this early age, and what I want her to understand about herself and others.  One simple little thing that I’ve been noticing lately in our interactions – which does have to do with the world, herself, and others- …

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 …

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? …

Pattern of :: a Weathered Life

Fussy, teething, desperate-to-nap babies don’t do so well at church. While she rests and restores with morning slumber, I rest and restore in quiet reflection.  As I read the scriptures, snuggled up in my blue painted couch, I’m reminded of the storm that blew through our fields yesterday… And the correlation to the storms that have blown through our life in the past four years… Manly and I will celebrate four hard-earned years this October. By our third anniversary we’d been separated for a total of ten months, conceived two daughters, burying one a healthy child and watching the other hang by a thread in the hospital. We hardly knew each other though we’d lived a thousand lifetimes together.  We had a choice: to either weather the storms together or run to our own shelters. There have been times when we’ve done one instead of the other. There are periods when the storm is too intense for an individual soul and it’s, therefore, best to retreat alone. But we’ve always had a heart -even in …

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 …