A year since that last breath

It’s been a year since I watched you take those last, drawn-out breaths. I always pictured myself in the barn as you would take that very last one…you weren’t there anyway, you were already on your way to glory. I had left your side…I had to get some fresh air. I couldn’t breath for you, I couldn’t take that last gasp for you but I could feel your presence in that sacred place between the sweet scent of straw and the thickened winter coat of the animals. I’d only be gone for a few minutes. I hear my brother-in-law whistle for me and I knew… you had completed your purpose and work here. You were now immersed in the holiness of God. You felt no pain, no sorrow, no more struggle, no more gasping, no more… you were...

How to rethink the holidays when you are grieving

For most, the holidays are a time of anticipation and joy. For others, they bring a sense of dread and a deeper feeling of loss. They are struggling with raw and ripping wounds. The loss, the shattered dreams are slapping them in the face every single day. Twinkling lights, merry music, snowy paths and a tree surrounded by wrapped presents are only a reminder of who’s not there, what’s missing, suffering, grief, loss. For those single moms it can be a ridiculously stressful time – it’s hard enough to do it alone but throw in all the expectations and extra expenses and she feels like she might as well count on barely being able to breath through these times of celebrations.  A family in crisis is more vulnerable for blow-ups and chaos and...

Why I rarely read Mommy blogs

Ever read those blogs that make you feel like you are the worst mom on the planet? You know – the thin mom with lots of kids, surrounded by DIY projects she’s accomplished and shining kids…that she teaches at home and a smiling husband and a dog that doesn’t vomit on the floor or get fleas. Even when she does post something about real life…it seems to just add more character to an already put-together family. I love the movement to do it yourself. I come from a large family and have four children myself.  I educated a couple of our kids thru their high school graduation. I love my husband and I love our Jack, the Wonder Dog. But there are days, when I do not really like all of them or any of them. I’m looking at the mess, my...

Crossing the bridge for help.

Maybe it’s time for you to walk across the bride for the purpose of getting some help. That means you have to humble yourself, realizing that you aren’t meant to do this alone. You aren’t meant to be super-human or super-spiritual and stand alone…and simply endure. Moses was chosen by God to deliver the nation of Israel out of Egypt, out of bondage, but there came time when he needed help with his arms. Literally. Moses stood with his arms in the air. As the unrelenting heat from the sun beat down, he couldn’t even wipe the sweat as it ran down his face and neck. Though his arms began to ache, he couldn’t stop for relief. Heavy, with fatigue and lack of blood circulating, those arms begged to dangle back down to his sides. There was no...

Redemption in the midst of suffering

Just at a time when I felt I would absolutely break into a million pieces, when I thought my heart wasn’t strong enough to beat one more time… just when I didn’t care if it continued to beat… there was a sort of a rescue, though on the outskirts of so much pain and what didn’t make sense, I knew it was redemption. It wasn’t that my prayer was being answered or anything like when the prodigal comes home or even that the suffering stopped, it was only that something broke off… like a hardened piece of cheese I gotta slice off and toss to the dog. There was a chipping away of something and it wasn’t the grief or the pain. It was the unresponsive, hard flesh that wasn’t pliable, wasn’t willing, wasn’t...

The year of first’s is complete

Dad, It’s been a year since your last birthday and almost a year since you took your last breath here on this earth. Oh, the glory you have known these past months…and months have meant nothing to you. Time is outside of your realm, so is suffering, tears, longing, sin, fear.  My sweet friend, Carmita lost her precious newborn baby girl the other night…she too, slipped into the arms of Jesus. I know from your perspective all is well, even in the midst of their anguish. I’ve missed you, I longed for your affirmation. There were times during this past year that were so sorrow-filled that I cried out, “I want my dad.” I imagined what you would have spoken to me. You would tell me that I could get through these things, you would...

Ravaged by grief

To my friend who is being ravaged by unimaginable grief tonight, I cannot take this pain away. I cannot bring your sweet baby back. I cannot unwind time, stop the torment or lesson one drop of your sorrow. I am helpless as you are in utter anguish. I know you are trusting God, you are are speaking truths that God is on His throne, He is good and holy and just. I know there has to be a million questions and a million more cries from the pit of your soul that aren’t quieted or soothed from your endless tears. And there aren’t answers. Those arms of yours, so cheated, so empty, I know they will gather up your sweet little one you have at home and you’ll kiss her and smell her hair and examine her sweet face. Her baby sister will not come home...

May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!