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how God showed up

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thank you thank you, friends.  You sent emails, texts, and Facebook comments saying, "I will stand with you!"  Thank you.  Since we're in this  together, I wanted to share how God showed up this week.


First, God showed up at 8 p.m.

For three nights, my sweet baby boy screamed for hours in the middle of the night.  He wanted to nurse, we were supposed to nurse, and he was not letting me off the hook.  We rocked and paced and walked outside and cried together, until slowly slowly, as long as I was standing up and patting his little back, his wailing eased.  Eventually he rested his head on my shoulder, tucked his little arms in, and dozed off.  Those were hard nights.

standing in the gap

Monday, November 25, 2013

one of my favorite pictures of my sweet dog.  He was so mad!

I don't want to write this post.  

I tend to be chatty and outgoing when things are going well.  Let's talk about life!  Tell me your problems!  I'm all in.  But then something pops up in my life and ... radio silence.  While I'm silent, though, I'm also telling myself how alone I am in the world, how I clearly don't have anyone who is willing to stay in my mess with me.  Meanwhile I'm ignoring the thirteen missed calls on my phone and the sweet "Are you still breathing?" texts from a half dozen friends.  I create my own solitude and then shrivel inside it, every single time life gets hard.


the time i lost my daughter in the mall

Friday, November 22, 2013

2008.11.20 twitter background by guiltyx
2008.11.20 twitter background, a photo by guiltyx on Flickr.

I forgot she was with me.

That's how I lost my daughter.  I forgot where she was.

Recently I was at the mall with my best friend, mother-in-law, and all four of my children.  It was the baby's birthday, and his godmother and grandmother wanted to buy his first pair of shoes and a new winter coat.  Small children on a birthday, any birthday, are naturally maniacal.  Plus grandma was in town, upping their enthusiasm and bickering tenfold. Then there was a stop by the Lego store.  Hermit crabs painted like Superman.  A little more freedom than usual while everyone fussed over the baby.  

Two hours later, my kids were scattering like marbles on tile.  I was feeling frazzled.

what's inspiring me

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Over on the Facebook page I often post links or quotes that inspire me, but it occurred to me this morning I haven't shared them here in a long time.  There's some beautiful insight floating around right now, and I would love to share what has inspired me recently.


Similar to my experience of his books, when I read Donald Miller's On God and Farming I  was interested, but I didn't have a moment of soul-bursting enlightenment.  However, over the next few weeks I found myself thinking about it often, and referring to his point in conversations.  He articulated something important for me:  At 35, it's not hard to know what to do with my life.  The hard part is staying with it.  Tend your field, he says.  Accept your calling.  Don't chase something more glamorous, just do what you've been given to do, no matter what.  In parenting, in your career, in relationships - tend your field.  In time, you will reap a harvest.



how a book on natural childbirth changed my life

Monday, November 11, 2013


I once read a book on natural childbirth.

Back then I was carrying my first baby, and I was apprehensive about his entrance into the world.  I never intended to actually have a natural childbirth, but I wanted to understand more about what to expect during labor.  I picked up a book to learn more about what I was about to experience.  

That book changed my life.

Most women waste all of their energy fighting against pain, the book said.   When contractions begin, we tense up and brace against it.  We instinctively try to prevent anything that hurts.  Then we spend the moments between contractions - moments intended for rest - anticipating the next wave. The cycle of fighting and anticipating pain is exhausting.  We spend all of our energy trying to avoid labor, working against it, and we have nothing left for the hard work of actually producing a baby.  

We forget pain is natural.

what really happened when I wept in a room full of strangers

Friday, November 8, 2013

I wrote a story for Middle Places today.  But I just reread my post, and I disappointed myself.  I mean, I love Middle Places.  I'm honored to be a part of them, and if you haven't been following along, there are some beautiful stories this week you won't want to miss.

But as usual, I ignored my emotion.  As usual, I smoothed myself over, tamped it down, tried not to offend anyone.  As usual, I swayed under an emotional boulder and insisted it wasn't that heavy, really.  I am working hard to stop downplaying and dismissing my life.  So now I'll tell it like it really happened.

In a room full of strangers on Wednesday, I cried.

Big, embarrassing tears.  There were no misty eyes, no quiet, quivery voice.  This was not a cute cry.  It was a face-contorting, ugly, loud, sobbing cry.


 

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