Write On

This morning, my husband and I went on a drive to Rochester just so I could get my picture taken with other women who had contributed to a devotional book. Just over an hour to drive one way for a photo. I thought it was a bit excessive, but in my heart I really wanted to go get my picture taken with the other ladies who had been chosen for publication. My husband knows me well and took the time to bless me with a drive and a coffee on the way home. He made his way into the event location filled to brimming with women, and maybe a handful of other men, so that I could do something that would bring my heart joy. I am very blessed! Sometimes joy comes in the simplest of things: having your picture taken, receiving a handmade card from a child or friend, getting a text from your mom, seeing a picture from years ago flash across your screen. What a gift it is to find joy in the little things. Yes, our two hours away from home turned into four, and there were challenges along the way, inclu

2 years...

How has it been two years? Two years without your laughter, your corny jokes, your deep wisdom, your encouraging words...two years without your meal time prayers, your hugs, your special knock on the door, your dreams of the future...two years without you. How can it be true? We have gone through the seasons, through birthdays, through holidays, through ups and downs...all without you. You are experiencing things beyond our imaginations, and we are experiencing life in a new form, a new way. Heart hurts, belly laughs, new memories made...all without you. I know that the pain will will become easier... At least that's what I'm supposed to believe. The truth is that if I let myself think too much about how you left us, my heart will not be at rest, peace will flee. When will I have peace? When will life be okay without you here to share in it with us? When will I trust the goodness of God again with my whole heart? You are missed. You have left behind a legacy - a her

18 months...

I am amazed at how quickly the last year and a half went by. I sometimes wonder how I meet each day knowing that the only way I'll see my dad is in a photo or a thought or a dream. I'll only hear him in my memories or dreams. It saddens me to think of all the opportunities that have gone by for my children to interact with their grandpa, for my mom to tell my dad a quote from the book she's reading, for me to hear his signature knock on our front door. Yet he is already home with his grandchildren, his father-in-law, his mother-in-law, and so very many others. He has seen things we struggle to imagine; he has joined the cloud of witnesses. He is now cheering, along with them, as the rest of us continue our race. Knowing that today was coming made me a bit sad. So this morning, rather spur of the moment, I decided to find ways to celebrate and honor my dad. The first way we honored him was by getting chocolate shakes - made with chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup - the

13 months...

I often wonder, when these time markers roll around, how time has gone by so quickly. 13 months have gone by since my father's death. It seems unreal. I wish it were. Time markers have a way of sneaking up on us, both bad and good. It seems like time is creeping along at a snail's pace and then I look up and see my firstborn...almost 14, in ninth grade, full of questions, worries, and amazing potential. I remember trying to convince her to crawl...and walk...and eat baby food...and all the things. Encourage bravery...cheer on victories...rave over accomplishments. Today marks a 24-hour period in time that will come and go like so many other 24-hour periods. It marks 13 months since my father's heavenly arrival...2 weeks until my firstborn son's 12th birthday...20 days until my firstborn's 14th birthday...27 days until my youngest daughter's 11th birthday...and the list goes on. This 24-hour period will never mark the same significant moments ever again because t

13 years...

Tomorrow marks 13 years since my husband and I lost our second child (third in line) to miscarriage. I cannot begin to tell you how shocking it is to realize so much time has already passed since that day we were in our car headed to Minnesota for a wedding. After having lost a child in 2007, I hoped I'd never have to experience the devastating heartache of a miscarriage again. However, on September 19, 2009, as life would have it, I began to bleed and I knew deep down that our little one was gone. The despair and heart-wrenching sorrow were awful. Tony and I spent the week he had taken off for the trip to Minnesota, mostly at home, grieving. Grief has a way of ebbing and flowing, overwhelming and then settling to a quiet background murmur. It can smack you in the face or creep up in a moment of quiet reflection. Today, as I consider the loss of my son and the many other losses I have encountered in September, I realize that, though I am utterly without understanding of the reasons

One Year

One year. So much can happen in one year. A child can be conceived and born. A house can be built. A team can make it to the championship game and...lose. A family can grow through adoption. A family can pay off debt. A child can graduate high school and step out into the world of college. A president can come into office. A person can surrender their life to Christ. The list is almost limitless because a year can be both long and short. It can feel like a never-ending run or it can seem to have slipped away in the blink of an eye. One year has come and gone since the day I said goodbye to my dad. Four of us gathered around him, prayed over him, cried over him, pleaded with God, and hoped. We were with him when his heart stopped beating this side of heaven. We were with him when he strode into another place. He was walking in the presence of God while we were weeping at his side. That day, in some ways, seems like it couldn't possibly be one whole year ago, yet it is. Today, I have

Eleven Months

Eleven months have passed since that awful day that we had to say goodbye to my dad. So many days I am still overcome by strong emotions and the loss of hoped-for experiences. I am so very thankful for all the wonderful experiences I did have with my dad, and he had with my children and my husband. My joy has shriveled into a tangled mess of hurt, sadness, confusion, and, occasionally, anger. The truth is that when I say I'm okay...I'm not...not entirely. I'm broken...heartbroken. I'm treading water, staying afloat. I put on a brave face and step into the world and live, but the living isn't quite as joyful, not quite as carefree as it once was. The last two and a half years have been full of challenges, hurts, heartaches, unexplainable craziness. So many are hurt, scared, treading water. They may be experiencing loss, anxiety, fear, confusion, financial troubles, medical concerns, family upheaval. Our prayer list seems to grow weekly, if not daily, with another