All posts tagged: God

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

Friendship: Floating Along

Kate Bowler, a Christian professor who struggled with infertility for years, finally had a baby boy and was then suddenly diagnosed with stage IV cancer. She wrote a book titled “Everything Happens For a Reason – And Other Lies I’ve Loved.” In her book, she recounted this conversation from when she was very ill and lying in her hospital bed, and it struck a chord with me: “It’s like we’re all floating on the ocean, holding on to our own inner tubes. We’re all floating around, but people don’t seem to know that we’re all sinking. Some are sinking faster than others, but we’re all sinking!” I keep having the same unkind thought- I am preparing for death and everyone else is on Instagram. I know that’s not fair -that life is hard for everyone- but I sometimes feel like I’m the only one in the world who is dying. “We’re all sinking, slowly, but one day, while everyone watches, I will run out of air. I am going to go under.” […] People talk …

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 …

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 4: Millennial Growth

On the heels of my little humorous Millennial post last night, I’ll share something I’m 21st century passionate about for marriage.  We live in the Age of Information. We have nearly every resource possible at our literal finger tips. YouTube is not of the devil; Facebook is not fake relationships; Instagram is not a facade. The 21st century is really just like every century before us- new inventions, new creations, new opportunities. We can use those resources for good or for evil, but may most of us use it ALL for growth and maturity and truth.  My husband and I make use of podcasts about scripture study and family lifestyle, we make use of YouTube when we can’t attend our regular church service, we make use of Facebook to share our story and connect with people in our community, we use Instagram to journal our family memories. We use the politheria of Social Media to our advantage.  There are plenty of people who allow these resources to unhealthily integrate into their lifestyle. If you are …

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 …

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 …

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 …