Friday, July 09, 2010


Today is already 9th of July, and it seems everyone is on vacation this time of year.

Last Sunday,  following a particularly rough morning,  I (my head and heart) needed to come to a screeching halt.   My sensitive husband knows how my sadness does ebb and flow so instinctively,  he took care of after church lunch craziness and encouraged to me hole up in our bedroom for a few hours.   

Wow.  It was just what I needed.   I started thinking about why it might be necessary for me to disconnect for awhile.   One reason being,  from the moment I awake in the morning,  until God grants me sleep at night-- I think about a tiny baby girl.   It doesn't go away during grocery shopping or pool swimming.   Grief sticks.   Sometimes distraction from it is much needed,  sometimes all this distraction is just avoidance.   

This summer in my mad rush to get to and through my pregnancy due date I've noticed that I am not intentionally taking a lot of time to be still and know.   If truth falls into my lap,  I might grasp at it.   If Biblical inspiration comes to me,  I'll certainly accept it.  But,  do I seek these things?

Should the very last thing I do each day really be the very first thing I do each day?

Do I take the time to really hear the Spirit's voice,   or am I busying myself too much in the effort to speed through this season?

Isn't it ironic that the faster I try to get this summer over with the slower it creeps along?

And what exactly do I think that reaching the Fall season will grant me?

As you can read,  I have a head full of questions.   I think it best to take a bit of a hiatus-- a sabbatical, if you will from social networking and the like.    Many folks did it for Lent.  I'm doing if for the remainder of July.   Going under the radar as much as possible to exhale and refocus. 

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Chicken Coop part deux

7 months later Dan's displaced chickens have a new and improved home. 
Last summer she was a beauty:

Unfortunately, after the fire last January:

the contraption (um, eyesore) pictured above was their temporary home.

Over the last 3 months,

their lap of luxury is nearly complete.

he will be
back in the
egg business.

 for goodness sake.  sometimes there are no words to explain a two year old.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Give me a hand.

This was a Father's Day gift to Dan from me.  
Ok,  really more of a gift to me from me!  
I purchased it from,  but if you are skilled at embroidery, you could make this too.    On paper I traced the hand of each of our children.    I emailed the tracings and the creator added their initials,  the year and a teeny, tiny hand in memory of April.  

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The road to restored joy is full of potholes.

I suppose I wouldn't do the previous post justice without trying to describe God's hand in how I got here.

To be honest, well, I don't fully know.   God's ways are deep and mysterious.

Something I do know is that  I have held tight to a promise from the Bible.   From what I understand it is a promise that Jesus speaks to His disciples prior to His death and ressurection.

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 
John 16:20 NIV

The world would rejoice while Jesus was crucified, and the disciples would grieve.  But... their grief did turn to joy as Jesus so gloriously arose.

I know that others don't rejoice in our pain,  but the devastating fact is that our pain is primarily-- our pain.  I can't expect the folks around me to pause their lives until I can catch up with them and join their joyful existence. 
To put it another way... while others' lives are moving along at the pace of summer,  ours meanders on at more of a snail's pace while we grieve. 

In the midst of this I fully believe that God will turn our grief to joy.   The daily challenge for me is surrendering my will and what I think God should do to dissolve my grief.

Holding onto this promise is only a part of what has sustained me in the last 11 weeks.   As I will list below,  in both small and large ways there has been sustenance.

If you've read this blog for awhile,  you know I like to make lists.    Identifying these things shows me God's hand in it all!

A phenomenal family physician.

Listening ears.

Music.  Specific songs at very specific times.  Ask me sometime, I'll tell you about it :)

This book--> I Will Carry You by Angie Smith

My small group ladies

Busy, Busy, Busy!!   Having 4 kids in the summer does not allow much time for downward spirals.

Writing a letter to our daughter

So I continue on this road,  this summer with all of its figurative (and literal !) potholes.
Although sometimes I feel disoriented and that I may have missed a red light or two,  my destination is sure and I will arrive there in God's timing.

Friday, July 02, 2010

how'd I get here?

Have you ever had the experience where you are driving someplace and not fully focusing on the route?

You know,  about a mile past an intersection you think to yourself,   was that light really green... or was it red? 

You are going through the motions of driving but not really aware of your surroundings?

You reach a certain point in the journey and think that you may have dozed off for a bit?

The route may be so familiar that you are pretty much on auto-pilot.  You reach your destination safely, just as you assumed you would.

It is a weird feeling, right?
My last 11 weeks have kind of felt like that.

I'm in my metaphorical mini-van and driving down is the road of life after the loss.   I've recently took a mental look back at the journey this far and thought,

How'd I get here? How did I get from the hospital room on April 15 to nearly ready to celebrate the pinnacle of summer-- 
the 4th of July !?

Surely I have grown more functional as the weeks went on, but it still does feel quite a bit like I am going through the motions of summer.    Mother's day,  AnniversaryLast day of school, Father's day,  Vacation.  All very familiar landmarks in my summer life but looking back on them I think,   

Did I just run a red light? 
Did I doze off for a bit?
Am I on auto-pilot?
How'd I get here?
I am learning that living with grief is just that--  living, but there is pain (the grief) that lies beneath the smiles and the laughter. 
I believe and know that this will not always be.  
Nonetheless,  the road to restored joy is full of potholes. 

more thoughts on how I did get here coming soon...
(like later tonight when I don't have kids begging me for snacks!)