All posts tagged: featured

Darkness :: Light

After Heidi died suddenly at four days old, her little sister Everley was born nine months later at nine weeks early and lived in the NICU for six weeks. In less than a year, my heart was shattered by death and the pieces that were left got beat up and bruised from the near death of my second daughter. I was a bloody mess and deeply broken. I was not able to see the light of day…. Moments like this one I stumbled upon today show me that God has brought us to a soft and gentle place. A place where there is light. And my heart is healing in small but sure ways. God is not afraid of the darkness. After all, that’s how he began his own story- “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. …And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:2-4

With :: Me

My nearly four year old daughter asked me, before I left her with all the fuzzy animals and one dim night-light, to ask God to be with her. “Of course, I will ask God to be with you. He is always with you. No matter what happens.” What truth are we teaching our children? That God loves them? That God wants them? That God will always be near? What truths are we sharing with them that will sustain them when life falls apart? Because, contrary to popular middle class American standards, shit will hit the fan at one point or another. After I tuck the children in bed, I stand in the stairwell of our cape-cod -the little landing at the top of the steps between the two small bedrooms- and I lift my palms and pray in silently sincerity: May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he make his face shine upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26) My constant prayer is for mercy & peace to be evident in their …

Be: A Steward

Tragedies all around. Walmart shooting. A friend with potential brain cancer & three little children at home. A friend with pregnancy complications. Another friend who had a difficult late miscarriage like mine. Tragedies make us think. Since we can’t Turn Back Time and since we can’t Mess Up the Sovereignty of God, what CAN we do? There’s a gray area to life that I call Being a Good Steward. Life can’t be perfect or controlled there. Fear can’t dominate there. It’s just a place where there is faith, trust, information, and reasonable choices. We can’t change what has happened and we certainly can’t dictate or influence the plans of an Omnipotent God, but we can work with what we’ve been given. Till the earth. Watch the weather. Plant the seeds. Manage the weeds. Tend the growth. Prepare for winter.

Day 5: Own It

Counseling has been one of those things for us. We really really need it. When we were dating we met with a couple who’s 15 years older than we are to talk about relationship stuff- who’s in this triangle? how’s the triangle working? are we making this work for you, me and God, or just one angle of this triangle? You know, good thoughtful stuff like that. Then we met with our church’s teaching elder and his wife to discuss deeper and broader concepts concerning the institution of marriage in the weeks and months leading up to our wedding vows. Then we got married. And it all went out the window.  You’d think we were well prepared and had our act together and matured steadily and easily. But we haven’t. That hasn’t been our story. We’ve WORKED -our asses off- to get good at this marriage thing. We’ve fought and cried and apologized and forgiven and prayed and replayed it and redone it and reworked it.  Professional counseling would’ve helped a lot when we first …

Day 2: Suffering Spouse

I remember the stomach ache I had the morning I attended the elite military special operations class graduation that July morning. I became more nauseas as I listened to the Master of Ceremonies gloat and bellow about the absurd pride of this military unit. It was disgusting to me how much weight and glory was put into human striving and human achievement. I didn’t want to see my young husband become part of something that would puff him and make him feel like he had finally achieved the gold standard. I wanted a humble, present, compassionate husband. Instead, I felt that after six months of training and eight months of marriage that I had been given an arrogant pompus-ass for a husband. I never thought I’d see what it was like for my husband to endure rigorous, mind-numbing, grueling militant training that forced him to suffer and willingly suffer and find a way to survive. That was all of six months and then POW training as well. But I witnessed it the day my husband …

Day 1: to Manly

My dearest Manly, I’m starting something new today- for the next 27 days of this October, until our six year anniversary on the 27th, I’ll be writing a tid bit a day about us. About being us. About finding us. About looking forward to us. We often say that we’ve been to hell and back with someone we really didn’t know, haven’t we? We’ve often said that most marriages don’t survive the hell we’ve been through, don’t we? We often say that we don’t know how we’ve been staying in it and going through it like we have, haven’t we? Somehow through all this shit of spending months apart as newlyweds, of having bad habits and poor attitudes, of arguing with each other and being hurt by each other, of getting pregnant when we didn’t want to be, of waking up to our daughter being gone, of tragically trying to save her life, of going home void and lifeless without our daughter, of conceiving and trying to save our second daughter, of buying and fixing …

Gardening :: Life

I don’t know much about plants and gardening, but one thing I do know is that if I want more blooms I have to prune the bush. It’s the literal display of “two steps forward and three steps back.” The bush will keep growing but it won’t continuously bloom without snipping off the wilting blooms. It’s a bit of a letdown to me when I snip off the pops of color, because I know I’ll have to wait for more blossoms to flower. This seems an accurate parallel to my life… I’m easily discouraged by that phrase (two steps forward and three steps back) and its reality in my work as a potter, in my marriage, in my daily struggles as a mother. I desire more fruitful success in my life, but my toddler puts me to the test on a tiring day and my husband and I disagree again on the same issue. When I react poorly and without wisdom, I realize that my behavior is similar to a wilting bloom- it’s a decaying …

Shore :: Eternity

I shared all the nice moments on Instagram. And I locked up all the not-nice moments in my head. That’s just how we do it, isn’t it? We share about the delicious cannoli and we don’t share about the argument we had trying to find the delectable pastry shop. It’s not a Millennial thing we do. It’s a human nature thing we do. I had great expectations for our vacation this summer- I brought my health magazines to finally read, I packed some of my favorite outfit items, I brought healthy snacks for the family, I looked forward to quality time with my husband. Ha. I have a two year old and a ten month old. My expectations weren’t necessarily high and lofty. They just had to be flexible and shift with the tide.  One of my absolute favorite things in the world is the ocean. I love the sound of it, I love being in it, I love being near it, I just love the sea. When I’m driving to the coast, it is …

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 …

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. …