Sunday, June 10, 2012


It's truth when it is said, "time heals". We are three years away from what was the most difficult goodbye we've ever had to make. We have felt the stirrings of loss begin again. It starts a few weeks out from the anniversary of her passing. It can be compared closely with claustrophobia. You struggle and it only make things worse. It's better to stop, breathe, and remember. Remember her smile, her chuckle, her quiet and quirky ways. Remember her lemon chicken and baked potatoes, her salads with avocado sliced over them. Remember her chatting over a cup of tea. Remember her 500 pairs of reading glasses stashed in every possible nook or cranny. Her piles of books, Bible and highlighters always close by. Remember her silly hip bumps into her grown sons' sides, the playful punches on their arms. Remember her 3x5 cards, with verses and quotes in her van and around the house. Remember her sitting and reading to her grandchildren. Remember her sketch books and paints. Her absolute love for the Lord. She trusted Him with all of who she was, right up to the very end. Her courage and bravery to get over her fears and worries. To travel around the world, sharing the Love she herself had experienced. Remember.

The pain attached to losing her is dull. Steady but dull. It's no longer sharp, searing, or raw. I still catch myself having thoughts like "I need to ask Pam this or that" or see a striped tshirt in the store and think "Oh Pam would like that!"or "Pam would love this movie." Maybe those thoughts will end. Maybe not. All I know is I'm thankful for the time I had with her. I'm grateful that the things she helped deposit in me are still bearing fruit. I get to see her again. Her family will get to see her again. And for that, I'm beyond thankful.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Failure. Mistakes. Crossing the imaginary lines. Realizing the twisting and turning to keep from getting burned was all for nothing.
Failing at relationships is the worst. Feeling like the crack on a vase that everyone twists around so they can no longer see it. Unknowingly breaking something you didn't know you could break. Miscommunication. Discommunication. Uncommunication. Fail.
I know this is a ramble. A vent. A side trail. I hoped it could help heal the sadness, soothe the frustration.
It is what it is. I am who I am. This is life.

Friday, May 04, 2012


On my 17th birthday, a boy took me out on my first birthday date. He drove me to the beach and set up a lovely picnic on a private inlet. We talked, we ate, we laughed. We watched the water change color as the sun sank lower and lower in the sky. He handed me a card and said, read it. My first birthday card from a boy. The last line he wrote said, I love you. My heart skipped a beat. Why would he write this, I thought. I know he can't mean the real I love you. But as I looked up, I saw it in his face. He loved me. I shyly said it back to him and it felt right.

I have continued to say I love you to this same boy for the next half of my life.

In that time, this boy and I have grown up together. We have fought loud and loved hard. We have hiked mountains together. Run marathons together. We have traveled parts of the world together. We have held hands through death, loss, and grief. We have witnessed first breath of life together, four times in four different hospital rooms. We have been our very best and our very worst with each other.

I think about the next 17 years and the next and possibly the next. Maybe this "getting older" isn't such a bad thing, afterall.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This Guy

All four of my children's birth stories are wonderful and amazing, in my perfectly biased opinion. But this guy. This guy's story is a step into the miraculous. Born 6 weeks early at an even, whopping 4 pounds, his is a story of LIFE. When the doctor who literally just pulled your son from your womb whispers in your ear, "Do you believe in Divine Intervention?", you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that someone epic just entered your family. This boy had a true knot in his umbilical cord. We were clueless of this fact. So a message needed to be sent out. A big SOS. Message was received. I coasted right past preeclampsia and landed smack into this territory. It was confusing and scary. But exactly what needed to happen in order for the boy with the true knot in his cord to be born.
Seven years later, I am still in awe of the Lord's goodness. I am so thankful for this artistic, creative, super smart little boy. He sees the world in ways I do not. He asks questions that stop me in my tracks. This guy. Now this guy is special.
Happy Birthday, Josiah Daniel. I love you bigger than this universe. Just thought you should know...

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I've lived in the Midwest for almost 8 years now. Oddly enough, we have only had to run down to our basement once in all of those years. That's something to be grateful for!

The past couple of days, there have been big headlines of big storms with big tornadoes. Naturally, one might get a little "tweaked" when hearing of all this commotion. Yesterday I texted my friend Dan, who happens to work for NOAA... our national weather service. He's the one to go to if we have any questions about weather. Dan, I asked, do I need to worry about these reports? I'm home alone with the kids... should I make a plan to head down to our basement? It's pretty unlikely, he replied. But, if you do hear the sirens go off, then yeah. Go downstairs.
I was pretty exhausted yesterday afternoon. Note that earlier I mentioned being *home alone with 4 kids*. Hence, the exhaustion. I put the girls down for their nap. I set the boys up for their quiet time. Josiah spends his time in his bedroom. Elijah spends his downstairs in the guest room. I snuggled down in my bed, asking for that blissful break called sleep. And then. All of a sudden, I heard a siren-like noise. I shot out of that bed faster than I could say tornado. I pulled the dead-asleep Phoebe from her bed. I grabbed a couple of diapers and the box of wipes because she had planted a diaper bomb before falling asleep. Seriously? How do babies do that? Fill their diapers and then fall asleep?? I ran across the house with sleepy baby in my arms, blanket trailing on the ground, diapers falling out of my grasp. I called for Josiah to run downstairs to alert Elijah of the emergency situation. I ran into Lyla's room and woke her up from a dead-sleep. As I slowed down to gather the fallen diapers, I noticed something. There was no siren blaring. There was, however, a neighbor running a SHOP VAC.

Try telling a 3 year old and a 2 year old that Mama just needed to run a quick tornado drill and that they must go back to sleep.
They didn't believe me either.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


There was a time in my life when death was a viable option. Years when deep lies were believed that I would fail as a person, that I was not worth anyone's love. At 18, I gave in. I said okay, you're right. I'm not fit to be alive. I'm never going to be. Time to end it. I tried. I shook out as many pills as I could from their containers. I washed them down with a gallon size jug of water. And then I waited. My mind became foggy. I remember my dad coming in my room. I remember my mom asking me questions and "calmly" taking me to the hospital. I remember lying there in the hospital bed, hallucinating. Seeing animals dance across the ceiling, the large spotlight over my head. I remember the hushed talking, the decisions being made about my care. Drink charcoal, they said. If that doesn't bring it up, then we'll have to pump your stomach. So I drank the thick, black, sickeningly sweet charcoal. It didn't take long. The heaving. The pain. The excruciating, neverending night. But then the morning came and I was still alive. The charcoal had done the job. There were some physical side effects from the pills I had swallowed. So I had to stay. Social workers came and went. Asking question after question. I pulled whatever I had left together and danced the sanity dance for them. I'm fine, I said. It was a stupid decision, I said. I'll never do it again, I said. And they let me leave.

I wasn't okay. I left for college later that summer. And I wasn't okay. I had a fiancee who soon became my husband living, breathing by my side. And I wasn't okay. I began to envision other ways of ending it. Could I jump from this window, I asked. I would inspect my wrists. Could I end it in this gory way, I asked. These thoughts were a part of me for years.

Time passed. And passed. It was not one thing that healed me. A series of events. People calling me forward at church services. Proclaiming truth over me. My husband's fierce loyalty, not letting me go when many would have walked away. Quiet times with the Lord. Revelations of His sweet Love. Calling me His Precious Jewel. The birth of my firstborn son. A series of events that slowly turned my thoughts. If this One has called me Beautiful and Wanted, who am I to disagree with this?  You never disappoint me, He says. Who am I to turn by back on that?

This part of my past no longer creates grief in my heart. It no longer causes shame. It's my story. And I'm grateful. I look at the precious faces of my children and I am grateful. I'm glad I've never been the one with the pen. I have chapters yet to be written. Whole chapters.

Monday, April 09, 2012


Creativity is a funny thing. To some, it comes a little more naturally. These ones are inspired easily. To others, it's just plain hard work. These ones have short bursts of inspiration and then walk on in silence. I am one of the latter. Add a deep insecurity of any ability to create and you have ME. Granted, I have legitimate reasons for hiding from creativity. 4 reasons to be exact. But I can't continue to hide. It's time to let those parts of me become me. I'm not sure what that looks like or feels like but I'm willing to give it a go.
Step 1 of this journey. Write more.