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Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine

A reprieve I had been longing for…
A happy dose of normal…
A break from the severity of the physical travail…
A promise of spring…
A hope that this cloud will one day lift…

the-promise-of-spring-flowers

And my heart rejoices in a couple of good days, even if they are followed by more difficult ones. It’s a promise that this winter won’t last forever.

Things are still “incomplete”, which means I’m on a heavy dose of meds for the next few weeks, and then a potential second surgery if things remain. This process has seemed a bit cruel at times, to be honest, but we continue to trust. We continue to wrestle the “whys” with the “who” – concentrating on who God is, over the unanswerable questions of our immediate situation that we have prayed desperately to be resolved.

It’s a tug of war of our hearts. What we feel vs. what we know to be truth.

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People continue to focus on our emotional healing, and assume it is the reason we’ve been slow  to return to normal. However, the pain, the discomfort, and its continuation effects have been too intense for my mind to wrap around much of anything else. While I know that we have processed it to a degree, it’s been nearly impossible to not be consumed by the physical and how it effects our family.  Perhaps, it’s made the grief a little easier to bare by spreading it out, or maybe it will hit us even greater when this part of the trial concludes, but for now we have been focused on getting through the physical part of this hardship.

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The ground is thawing. Peace is coming. Peaks of sunshine will mix with the clouds. There will be an end to this harsh season, and I’m so thankful for God allowing me to see a glimpse of the other side.

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A few links that have ministered to my (and Brad’s) heart this past week:

Brad and I listened to this audio series from Mark and Sarah Vroegop over the weekend.  There’s much truth, honestly, and hope in this series that I would highly encourage someone experiencing the grief of a miscarriage, stillbirth, or loss of a child (or if you know someone who is going through this struggle) to listen to…   

I related to the words of this article, “And Then There Was None: The Miscarriage I Never Expected” , so much…

Moms are often emotional beings. We crave expression. But there is little time for us to do it. Moms must go on. There is so little time calculated into our days, weeks, months and years to grieve. It’s just not on the schedule…” 

And this..

“We are encouraged not to tell people we are pregnant until 12 weeks, but then 80% of miscarriages happen before 12 weeks. So we face this incredibly life-altering experience in solitude. We wander around our “everyday” lives with a broken heart that no one else is aware of. Some may wonder why I am putting something so private and intimate on the blog. And to them I say this: I share because I find great comfort in the love and support of those around me. And I share because I know with certainty that others after me will walk this journey and I want them to know they are not alone. I want them to know a sisterhood of strong and brave women has walked the path before them.”

And so much more…go read it. It’s so good.

And this one,  “Why You Should Never Stop Telling Your Story” , from my dear friend, Myra, is just so spot on with why I’m continuing to write even through the pain of this season, instead of just writing only the good. This too is part of our story.

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Thank you for continuing to allow us a space to share our story, even when it’s hard. You haven’t ran away from supporting us even during this darker time, and we are so grateful that you have remained. We know you are praying, grieving, and waiting along side of us, and it’s been so encouraging to our hearts.

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This Is What It Looks Like to Be Loved Well…

These past days that have now turned into weeks have been some of the hardest days Brad and I have had to walk through, yet we haven’t had to trudge through them alone.  We have been held by many.  Although only a core group of family and friends knows the details of what we are going through, it has not lessened the amount of love and support we have experienced.  Some have offered generously without even knowing the slightest bit of what’s happening.

We have been loved and we have been loved well.

So many times when we see friends hurting, we “give them their space” or we are so helpless on knowing what to do, we don’t do anything, but these friends have been an exception.

hospital surgery recovery

So what does being loved well look like? 

Being loved well is…

A warm bowl of my mom’s vegetable soup and sugar cream pie

A friend who takes your kids sledding while you recover

Text messages of Scripture verses when you’re feeling afraid

A friend who shows up at your door with a box of ice cream sandwiches (which she knew you liked from reading a past blog post)

A mix CD with encouraging songs that I’ve been playing on repeat

recovery stash

Friends that don’t shy away from the pain, but are there to walk with you through it, and even make you laugh when it hurts

A surprise pizza delivered to your doorstep when you aren’t sure how you’ll even fix a meal

Prayers from those closest to us and from those we’ve never met

COOKIE DOUGH

Being served breakfast in bed from 4 of the sweetest boys on the planet

breakfast in bed menu

An email from a friend who has walked through a much deeper valley than you can imagine to offer her prayers, comfort, and Scripture that continues to get them through

A husband who has been so incredibly solid, patient, understanding, and compassionate even when he’s hurting too

Phone calls, emails, Facebook comments, blog comments, and texts checking in on us

A box of sunshine from Texas

box of sunshine

Thank you to so many of you who have loved us well. You have taught us how to minister to others, and we long for the opportunity to give back. We are blessed by the many ways you have been a blessing to our family during this time. We appreciate your continued prayers as we wait for healing both physically and emotionally. 

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A Perfectly Imperfect Christmas

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This year hasn’t been the picture-perfect Christmas by any stretch.  There’s many things left undone, traditions skipped, and not everything has went as planned.  Laying in bed most of the week last week with a respiratory illness was difficult when there were presents to wrap, Christmas cards to be sent, neighbor gifts I wanted to make, last-minute shopping to finish, and homemade treats I wanted to bake.

Missing my side of the family’s Christmas, a Christmas work dinner, and a concert didn’t make it any easier.  But there’s a bright side to everything.

Less fuss. Less expectations. Less busy. Less hustle and bustle. 

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While there have been more Trader Joe’s cookies consumed than homemade, and my house is not holiday home-tour worthy, no one seems to be disappointed. Perhaps I saved Christmas with the egg-in-the-hole stars we feasted on for lunch or maybe the 3 ingredient reindeer food that I whipped up last night? 

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No one seems to be lacking in Christmas spirit.

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We’ve made good memories together, even if they haven’t been monumental or what I would have planned. There’s been more snuggling on the couch watching movies, more low-key, more simplicity.

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I don’t think they’ll look back on the Christmas of 2013 and say, “Remember that year that you didn’t do Christmas crafts with us?  We didn’t decorate sugar cookies? We didn’t even have Christmas pajamas!!!!!!”

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Nah, I think there are plenty of other things that we’ve done wrong throughout the year that will scar them for life.

This Christmas?  It’s perfectly imperfect.  And we’re fully embracing it. 

{After all, it can’t be worse than when we ate McDonald’s for Christmas at the airport, but then again, that was pretty awesome too.}

This post is part of a series that I’m partnering with Hallmark during this month of December. I’m honored and grateful to be part of their “Life is a Special Occasion” campaign this December.  Don’t you love the Pics’n'Props Photo Kit

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