All posts tagged: hope

Fear: Not Your Friend

It’s interesting.  I discovered something fascinatingly new to me in my study of Gensis. Do you know how Adam & Eve first responded to God after the Curse? The Lord was quietly walking through his Garden in the evening, and he called to his children gently.  And what was their immediate response? They were hiding because they were FEARFUL. Their first response, in a suddenly fallen state of mind, was to be afraid.  But why?  God had not changed. God was still the same. God was their Creator. God was quietly seeking them. God had a calm and kind voice. God cared enough to seek them. God was still there. Why were they afraid? My theory is that with the bite of fruit – from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil – came the curse of fear. They didn’t achieve knowledge like the Serpent said they would; they didn’t achieve God-like power like the Serpent said they would; they didn’t become more or better. They became less. Weak. Frail. Ashamed. Lonely. Timid. …

Scrapes :: Bumps

Today I told my daughter “Fear is not your friend. Scrapes and bumps are part of the game of life.” Mind you, all she was doing was learning to ride her bike with training wheels. She’d taken quite a tumble a few minutes prior while going down a steep incline. When she fell I held her close and soothed her, and the first thing I said after the wails had quieted was: “You know what, though??? You did AWESOME!!! I am so proud of you for going down that hill, even though it was hard to do.” I want my children to know and accept that life is hard. Sometimes it’s complete shit, but I don’t say it to them like that at this stage of life. I just give them gentle reminders that scrapes & bumps will happen; there will be sad days; there will be disappointments and foibles; there will be mistakes and down-right naughtiness; life will kick you in the pants. Life can be so hard. But before they accept that ^ …

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 …

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 …

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 😉 ) 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 …

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 …