People speak of how difficult babies and toddlers are, to parent. As a mother of six stair step kids, I seemed to inspire mostly shock and awe when they were little. I never got that. It wasn’t rocket science. Challenging? Absolutely, but not the hardest part. Perhaps it’s the passing of years, that makes it seem so simple, but I find myself longing for diaper changes and milk stained shirts. I yearn to pry the Barbie head from the crawling boy-zilla’s jaws. How easy reparations were, when her biggest fear was quelled with the flip of a light switch.

Now they are grown to a preteen, two teens, and three young adults, each bearing wounds from the blows struck by an unjustly harsh life. Even in a family that clings so well to hope, faith, and love, the constant hits have brought varying degrees of scarring. There is sorrow. There is anger. There is bitterness. And yet, there is a barely flickering spark begging for oxygen. I see it, and I weep. 

I pray, and I weep.

It would seem that no matter how I try, I will always be wondering what I could have done differently; if I could have been less rigid, more wise, better prepared. How could I have known that all but a handful of the well meaning critics, and spiritual mentors were snuffing a bright flame? Why didn’t I believe I was enough? If only there had been fewer speakers allowed on the stage…

I am human though, deeming the wondering futile. I can’t change the past nor predict the future. I can only believe that I have done the best, as I am, with what I had at hand, in the moment, as it unfolded. I can only trust that God has seen, knows, and heals those for whom I weep.


Everything is different. Different in the sense that, not only are stakes higher, but that the measure of height appears to be limitless. I’m beginning to forget what life was like pre-you. 

It’s not that I feel less independent or capable, but I’m increasingly aware that my capabilities don’t have a valid weight on these scales. The yearning for balance remains, yet it’s a challenge to hold together the beliefs that comprise my stance. The need to be right just swirls away like a maple seed helicopter, frantically spinning, desperate to find solid ground.

 I’m learning to listen more than I ever have, and to allow the safety of love to dissolve the residue of unsurety that clouds the waters of my soul. 

As Far As The Eye Can See

Out of nowhere the memory rolls in. Like a distant thunder rumbling it’s warning of rain, a single memory comes rolling ahead of others, and fills my eyes with tears. 

You are a few hours old. I jolt awake and you’re staring silently; your grey blue eyes unblinking. You’re chubby with barely a hint of blonde fuzz on your head, such a contrast to the one before with her dark waves and obvious intent to conquer her little world.  We watch each other silently. I’m not sure what you are. You seem uncomfortably wise. I close my eyes to dislodge the thought. Sleep comes. 

When I awake your big blue green eyes are glowing joyfully with each button pressing round of your “twinkle star suckie”, a music playing pacifier and favorite among your extensive collection. You dance around bobbing your cotton candy fluffed head to the tune. I scan the room, surveying the chaos of three under five. 

When I look up from the mess, your eyes, (green, or grey, or yellow, I’m not sure in this moment) peer through your wild main of golden waves, full of frustration and fear. You have come at me like a wounded lioness. I have failed you, which is something  you don’t know how to express anymore than I know how to receive. I glance away in hot fear. 

Through blurred vision, I see you sitting at the foot of my bed, your wild main tamed by a sensible knot, one hand resting atop the blankets that cover my feet. You are once again silent and absorbing, but now armed with faith. I am straining to see from the chasm. I drift off into a chemical sleep. Sorrow passes. 

You wear a crown of flowers. In your eyes, there are flowers too. The music swirls around us like the breezes in this dusty heat. You stretch out on the blanket and shoot me a smile. We close our eyes and soak in the sounds. 

When I look up you’re gazing at him, weaving a stray tendril in and out of your fingers. It takes you a moment to remember I’m in the room, and when you do, your eyes are asking if I can see it; if I’m okay. I know my eyes are smiling, because you are happy. Yes I see it. I don’t know if I’m okay. I’m not sure if I have seen you with enough clarity. I’m not certain that  you have seen the depth of my love. I wonder if what was seen was enough. 


FullSizeRenderShe lay curled up on her bed in the fetal position after her bath, her wet hair twirled in a towel atop her sweet little eleven year old head. She’d been her usual bubbly self over dinner. She couldn’t tell me why she was sad. She just said “I don’t even know” as the stream of tears followed the curve of her nose, rushing to the billowing sea of pillow. I wanted to fix it. I wanted to make things right in her world. But sometimes that’s not possible because we are fragile and everything doesn’t make sense. Sometimes the sorrow has an origin we’re not yet ready to explore the depths of. Sometimes fixing is not what one needs. Sometimes a sad heart just needs to hear “Me too.” Sometimes you just need holding through the ache. So I brought her to my room and I snuggled her up in my big comforter, kissed her face and said “Me to baby. Me too” and we cried together.

We make it harder than it has to be…

Why is it so difficult to forgive? I’m sure there are a thousand different answers to that question. I, for one, am a justice driven protector. Wrong me, I’ll get over it. Wrong someone I care about and there’ll be hell to pay. We’ve all got our reasons. I propose that most of our reasons find at least a portion of their roots in selfishness. Not overt or blatant selfishness, but the kind that sits back and licks it’s wounds in disbelief that we weren’t enough to garner deference. And so, it’s simple, and justifiable, to grab hold of the wrong and say “I’m going to hold on to this and make you pay for it’s release!” Oh how we hold on to the hurt, anger, and shame. It’s almost laughable how much effort one can put into keeping the wound wide open for all to pity.

What would happen if you let it go? If you grasped the idea that the bitterness just isn’t worth holding onto. What if you set your wrongdoer free? What if doing so actually made you unexpectedly, and delightfully free? What if everyone in observance of such a choice had an example of radical love? Given the chance, what would you choose?

I chose. It was the hardest thing I’ve done to date, but I did it, and ya know what? It was so easy once the determination was made. I never knew. I’m proud of who I’m becoming, of who my kids have to look up to, of the gift of grace I have in my possession; of the mercy I am capable of extending. More than that, I’m thankful for a faith in a merciful God who didn’t have to do a thing for me, but did it anyway.

Holding on to hope.

Here I am, making room for you in this mess, wondering why you would even want to enter my space. I bring nothing to the table but disillusionment, weariness, and the tiniest bit of faith that there’s some point to it all. I’m not sure I want anyone here at all. You know all of that though, still you say you will come with peace in your eyes, provision in your hands, and comfort on your lips. You ask me to trust you and not be afraid. You tell me to hold on to hope. I’m holding on.


I feel you here, sitting peacefully as if no time has passed. I hear you speak my name and it’s like there was never a gap in the conversation, yet I’m weeping because the distance has to have been so great. There was a chasm, I’m certain I felt it, but here you are and here I am, and there is nothing in between.

Seeing clearer

A heavy heart is a cumbersome burden to bare, and the sorting of it’s contents the most grueling task to be undertaken. I find myself at a crossroads, wondering if the unpacking of it’s sorrows is of any real value. While I know that it’s only fear standing between misery and contentment, that fear is palpable and resolute. My memories, thick and brooding, hold firm to their grip on the beliefs that bend my reality to their purposes. Words with grave meanings hang like storm clouds in my mind, poised to unleash their torrential downpour at will.