Saturday, June 4, 2016

Bitter Sweet

June 5th, 2009 at 5pm we took Joshua off life-support. We held him in our arms for the first time since his birth. He was wrapped in his little monkey blanket we had picked to bring him home in. We clearly had underestimated the home he was being brought to. 
All 7lbs 11oz of him rested perfect and precious in the arms of many who loved him as we said hello then goodbye. 

Each year I expect these days, these memories to hurt less. I am caught off guard when the don't. I suppose that is a symptom of true love separated, there is no less pain, only hope that one day I will get to see that beautiful little man again. I will get to hug him, hold him, and see him with new eyes.
Until then, I hold onto the hope of that promise. Trying to honor the gift of life & loss that God trusted us with in Joshua. 

This year was harder. Everything seemed off, I pulled away this year. I was angry. I felt much more alone. (Realizing that my feelings are not always accurate but are always real.) I think most don't want to bring up my pain in fear of causing more pain but it really is exactly what I need. I was laying in bed broken, heart bleeding and I got a text from a friend. 
"You are not alone in remembering and celebrating Joshua's life." 
With her words I felt a breathe of peace wash over me. The pain did not lessen yet my soul felt justified. My son was being honored the way every mom hopes. Someone took the time to see him. To brave the pain and honor his life. 

There are so many more birthdays I will celebrate. As the time passes some details will be forgotten. But the sheer force of love I felt for Joshua the moment Matt handed him to me... THAT I will remember with every fiber of my mind and heart til I die. There is only one love that is greater...
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only son. That who so ever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but the world through Him might be saved." John 3:16-17
"So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him." Hebrews 9:28

Sweet little monkey, 
Mommy loves you! I bet Heaven is just the best though. I can not imagine what it is like. Daddy says hi & sends his love. Your little brother loves you too! We talk about you all the time. He was so excited to send you your birthday balloons this year. 
I miss you Joshua. I am so proud of you, always. Being brave for you. 
Love you little man. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016


I am homesick.
I am homesick for the ocean.
I am homesick for the mountains.
I am homesick for the smell of moss, wet earth and towering Douglas Fir trees.
I am homesick for special people.
And a large part of me is homesick for what was.

It seems idyllic until I really stop to think about how missing past relationships and life-places has stunted my current growth. Sometimes, what you miss doesn't exist any more. It is what was that you are really longing for. The place each relationship held in your life and heart; what they meant to you when you were close to them.
Is it fair to miss those times? Yes. Is it fair to let them trip you up? No.
You can not drive forward while looking into your rearview mirror.

There is some missing that I am doing that is not fair. Not fair to me. Not fair to the persons involved.
"Sometimes, it is not the person you miss, but the feelings and moments you had when you were with them." I don't know whom the quote is credited but I thank my dear friend for sending it to me. It helped me clarify what I was really missing. I am missing some feelings and moments. Some very precious, special, life changing and defining moments.

I miss them and need to let that be it.
No more longing for what was. What was happened, exactly when it needed to. No good comes from forcing it into my future and trying to repeat it. I need to value it, even cherish it, but also, let it go. Those places, times, people made me who I am now. They will even propel me into my future. If. If I let them stay right where they were.

I am homesick.
But I am also home. That really is...well, that is just so darn cool.

"And if you don't know what to make of this, then we will not relate."
A Pretty Song to Convey

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Process of Peace

Peace is a process.

Peace does not just happen.
I mean, yes, sometimes we pray and feel God's peace settle over us in that moment. His grace extending us comfort at that specific time. I have certainly experienced those moments.
But the majority of life is us learning the process of peace. The process of fighting the lies and fears in your head with: trust in God, what He said, and who He is.
That means Bible verses. That means hard mental battles that can last for a moment or for many many days, years, even a lifetime. That means repetition and memory; belief in who God is. It means sweating it out, so to speak, in the heat of your abounding fear. In the little battles. The tiny ones, like having a rash and letting your mind wander. As well as in the gigantic battles that apply stress to your very core. The process of hearing the lie, recognizing its falsehood, saying 'no' to all the what ifs that spring on you, and leaning on What God has said. He will never forsake you. He will never leave you. He has good planned for us*.... Specific Bible verses are the weapons against the lies. The proof of who God is, has been, in your own life & the lives of others, in the Bible, can also dispel the fears. God is good. God is sovereign. God is bigger.

This not new news. Ah, it is so old. Yet can seem so tedious and so basic that often times I forget its power. Then once I remember I feel shame and guilt that I forgot, neglected the tools I have been given. I can even allow that shame to fester & distract me. But that very shame is a lie. God does NOT scoff* at a heart that has submitted, a mind that is fighting against the lies. No!

With all my heart I hope, that as I go through life, faithfully falling on these verses & truths in times of fear, that it will become more automatic. My natural process instead of my current process. (Lie, fear, escalation, emotionally falling apart, remembering God, speaking His truths, turning them into a mantra in my head, & embracing the subsequent peace.)
Perhaps this peace process is similar to making a candle. Dipping a wick into hot melted wax, pulling it up to let it dry then dipping it back again. Over and over and over and over and over and...ha you get the picture. Slowly building bayer after layer of protection. The wick being more and more protected. Not that I will ever on this earth be immune to the lies & the fear I can be hit with. A candle can be melted or cut right to the core. But after years of practice I hope that my first response will be faith and trust instead of panic & fear.

That being said...I desperately need to go study my Bible! Get some new tools in this place!
My heart and prayers with you all. We can do this, helping each other & we will meet with success because of Who we lean upon.

"A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12

Deuteronomy 31:6
Jeremiah 29:11-12
Matthew 5:3-12
1 Corinthians 1:27