Year: 2018

Letter: Being Two

Good morning, Little Person. If there comes a day when I’m not with you and I can’t be your Mama on earth, I hope you’ll read these letters. I hope you’ll see wisdom and your Mama’s silly ways; I hope you’ll hear Truth and Love and Grace; I hope you’ll feel loved and understood and feel connected, even if we can’t be for some reason. I hope you’ll laugh and maybe even call me ridiculous ๐Ÿ˜‰ For today I’m with you and you’re two, and I’d like for you to know now that you’re old enough to read this- sometimes I don’t like it when you’re two. Lord have mercy. (I repeat that phrase often throughout the day, because I’m serious- we need mercy.) I’m up in the nursery feeding your brother who’s seven months and you’re downstairs listening to an audio book. I can hear the bang of wood against wood as you keep pushing yourself away from the kitchen table while strapped into your high chair since you’re supposed to be eating breakfast …

God: With Me

It’s been a year now since I was pregnant with my Little Bear, and it’s taken me that long to process how truly difficult those nine months were. Carrying him was such a deep -and dark at times- struggle. I did not want to be pregnant that year. Since Heidi and Everley were born seven months apart, the last thing I thought wise would be to conceive when Everley was just over a year old. Turns out, I was right. My body took a beating with the third pregnancy. I had multiple infections- one of them was in my finger nail which limited me in many ways and was a slow painful process to heal. My stress levels were through the roof- I couldn’t sleep normally anymore; I couldn’t relax in social situations; I felt lonely and scared and fearful all the time; I desperately wanted to give birth at home but my husband couldn’t emotionally invest in my fears & hopes; I was constantly tired and at times emotionally distant from my toddler daughter. …

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) 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: Donโ€™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: 🙄😑😖😤โ˜น๏ธ😩 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 …

Potter :: God

At this juncture in my potential career with clay, I’m simply learning how to “feel” the clay. I’m learning how it moves and shifts and forms and swells and lengthens and expands. The process of being a potter is largely through touch, the feeling of clay in my hands. It’s a tough job. It looks way easier than it actually is! This little soap dish here- it’s nothing special. But making it was something special- the clay itself was hard and cracked and uncentered from the start (the preparation part before throwing on the wheel is important, too, but I haven’t quite mastered that either). The clay flew off the bat three different times. I felt frustrated that I couldn’t center it, that I couldn’t get it firm enough on the bat to make it into a worthwhile vessel. And that made me stop and ponder…. aren’t I like this sorry lump of clay? Cracked, dry, worn out, uncentered, and unfit for the process of being made? Yea. I totally am like that lump. But …

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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 …