lilies + sparrows

686420E2-C5EC-43BA-8374-F2B2A34DD0A3Well, well. I’d begun to wonder if this little blog would ever see the likes of me, stopping to write again.  ☺️

I actually made some sourdough bread this week. (It’s baking now. It’s heavenly. Come have a piece.)

I messed up the recipe and didn’t follow directions, and while the bread’s a bit flatter than it should be, the flavor is out of this world. I unashamedly slathered butter and sprinkled salt and closed my eyes in bliss.

There is just something about homemade bread.

Lots of stuff has been going on around here.  Lots of emotional stuff, (maybe I’m wrong, but who doesn’t have that) lots of opportunities to throw our hands up in despair OR trust (have done both, one is definitely a better option than the other), and normal, busy, life is in full throttle around here.

At the moment:

I have an almost 14 year old (!) who just purchased a holland lop bunny, and plans to breed them to sell for pets, He is very excited.

It’s September, and HOT, but the leaves are yellowing and that is a measure of loveliness all on it’s own.

School is in full swing around here.  We started mid-July, and it went pretty well until I realized that my idea of what we were going to accomplish in a day was ludicrously overzealous.  Yeah. So I’m attempting to do less. And not worry so everlasting much about what I’m/they’re missing. It (the schedule) all looked good on paper, but the reality of a marathon school morning = me stressing out and less learning done, period. Gulp. It’s REALLY hard for me to find a balance between necessary expectation and not overdoing it.  But, as I was reading the other day, the important thing is to just let go of all of those things and let God figure it out.  Even let Him figure out what time we get up in the morning, if that’s a thing.  To believe that He actually does care about our every day life (like he cares for lilies and sparrows- how much more for us?). His intention is that we would look to Him for the wisdom we need and ask Him for the specifics of our day to be made known.  There is so much comfort in the thought that we don’t have to strive and figure it all out.

I’ve been reading bits of lots of books.  A.W. Tozer’s “Pursuit of God”, “Commonplace Quarterly” (a Charlotte Mason magazine that I just found out about), “Seasons of a Mother’s Heart” by Sally Clarkson, and for the kids, we just finished up “Strawberry Girl”, and now we’re finishing up “Island of the Blue Dolphins”.  Miss A can’t get enough of listening to all the Ramona books on Audible.  On audiobook in the car we have been listening to “Understood Betsy” by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.  Oh my- if you haven’t listened to/read that one, go do it. Just do. It’s excellent.

My 7 yo (Miss A) has taken off in the reading department and it’s lovely to see her with her nose in a book.  Not all of mine are so inclined – one of them especially would much rather be working outside and my littlest doesn’t even necessarily love being read to.

We have a duck. Her name is Waddles. Or Duckles. Whichever. She is quite companionable, and is so sweet and cute we forgive her quickly for the horrendous mess she makes in the garage and on the front porch. Miss A says she sings with her. A very musical quacking, I must say.

Supper tonight is leftover beans and rice, (yay, leftovers!) and watermelon that I made a mental note not to forget about, due to the fact that it’s in the garage fridge and has been for the last couple weeks.

The library is a lovely thing. I feel quite good about the fact that I was only one day overdue this past time (!). The other week I met a sweet lady in Goodwill with lots of kids who says the library is too expensive- she just buys books from Goodwill.  I know her pain all too well. We went on Tuesday, I deemed it Little Caesar’s drive thru day as well. We ate delicious, cheap, pizza, and listened to more of Ramona the Pest before stocking up with scads of books.

Exciting thing on the horizon is a 15th anniversary trip to New England for a few days in exactly 3 weeks and 1 day. Cannot. Even. Articulate. The excitement.  My kids roll their eyes and groan when the words “Maine”, “Vermont”, “New Hampshire”, or “maple” are mentioned. 😉

Relationships and laughing at jokes with earlier mentioned 14 year old is a beautiful thing.  Teenagers are funny. 

Relationships aren’t easy, though  (newsflash?).  And learning what it looks like, ever so slowly, to let go of my tight grip on control-illusion is a good kind of hurt.

It’s just so good to have a heavenly Father to rely on. No matter what we see, or can’t see, He is there. Our pain, our grief, our toiils, our spinning.

Even when it seems we’ve fallen from the nest…

His carrying and caring is abundantly above all that we can ask or think.

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The miracle of all things.

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Music plays gently from my phone as I write this in the early morning stillness. My coffee is nearby and warms me as I watch the drizzle of rain and the gray sky outside.

Stillness is somewhat relative. A certain 4 year old has been chattering to whomever would listen since 6 am.  My patience level at this time of the morning isn’t high, but her daddy had a chat with her and she is looking at books in her bedroom while I catch my breath for another day.

We’ve been busy. (Hasn’t everyone?) There’s been things going on most every weekend for the past several months. During the weeks I’ve been teaching school, doing laundry, cleaning up, managing messes, cooking, and all the normal life things.

Normal life. Yes.  Kid drama. Check.  Me generally feeling like I don’t have a clue how to parent. Check. Feeling ineffective. Check. Crazy loudness and whining and shrill whistling and thundering up and down the stairs.  Moments of tears and exhaustion.  Mud and wind blown bike hair. Kitty holding. Angry words.  Frustration. Apologies and hugs.

This week I came across two stories.  Both mothers. Both with a child who faced life-threatening illness.  Both struggled with faith in the face of devastation. One lost her daughter. One was miraculously healed.  I was brought to my knees by the stories of faithfulness and pain and surrender and, again, that God does work all things out for good.

all things.

All things.

This thought prevails in my heart and mind these days. I get caught up in the fear cycle and what ifs and suddenly I remember. All things. When the voices in my mind say I’m not enough and can’t get it right, all things are working together for good. There’s not a personality clash or rotten situation that’s out of the reach of that promise.

This changes my perspective from one of fear to one of promise.  Then it’s possible to see all the miracles happening all around me. To see that God’s hand is orchestrating every situation, every word, every prayer, every moment for the glory of Himself and the good of His children.

This takes the mundanity of life, and makes it glorious.  The warm coffee, the snuggled-in child on my lap this morning.  The freshness of dishes washed and the sun catching leftover bubbles in the sink right before my eyes. My husband walking in and filling up our home with his strong, reassuring presence.

Miracles. All around.

 

 

 

Seeing the light

 

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I’m entranced by light.

Funny thing is, it’s something I’ve taken for granted for a very long time.  There’s been rays of sunshine glinting through trees and windowpanes of light slanting across our wooden floors for over a decade now, and I’m just really taking notice in ways I haven’t before.

I’ve always loved the gray and gloomy days, filled with the coziness of candles and home. But lately, when the sun lights up the sky in the morning, I’m thrilled. Maybe it’s the great amounts of rain we’ve seen here this year. Maybe what I loved about the rainy days is the warming lights of home.  Maybe now when the sun graces us with its lovely presence I imagine the lights of another Home.

When I get up these days it’s night-dark outside.  I tiptoe to the kitchen for my coffee, maybe start a load of laundry,  and by the time I’ve settled in my chair, the light of another sunrise is beginning to glint through the lacy trees out my window.

I wrestle with my doubts, my thoughts of what the day may bring, most days, wishing already I’d both went to bed the night before and gotten up earlier, and then bring my mind back to truth.  Not forsaken. Thanksgiving for what is.  Gladness for quiet.

The sky is purple-gray and bits of coral are seeping through the clouds.  The light of truth shines on my heart and I’m reminded of what I know and what I believe. Without the light of Jesus to shine truth into my heart, I’m miserable. I’m focused on myself and what I lack.

When truth beams in, I’m capable of doing all things, and focusing on what the most important thing in the moment really is.  I’m filled with the reminder that the Spirit’s alive and well in my heart. (And isn’t there all too often clouds of discontent, self, and fear that cover up that particular truth?)

Truth tells me I’m already whole, and that the Saviour’s come to save. Truly save – not just paste a bandaid over my sin – but wipe them away and keep me pure.  Truth tells me that fruit comes from resting, repenting, and obeying, rather than fretting over when I haven’t measured up. Truth tells me that I haven’t even begun to imagine the love I’m loved with by the Father.

Light has a way of shining onto places that need exposure… to remind us that we are loved, that sin doesn’t have to stay. And best of all, when we walk in the Light, we have fellowship with the Father, and His Son’s blood has made us clean.

It’s late afternoon by now, and squares of sunlight lay shining on my floor. It lights up my struggling succulants tilting their stems window-ward, and the Fisher-Price wisemen’s faces on the trunk nearby.

I’m challenged to pick up my thoughts and lay them out in the light, rather than let them stew and brew under the blanket of fear and doubt.  To really ask myself if what I’m thinking is what Jesus would say if He were to sit down across from me in my living room. 

I’m thinking He would look at me with the kindest eyes, and remind me that His sacrifice was meant to bring light to the darkest places of our lives.  That perfect love removes fear. That seeking Him and resting in His deep, great, encompassing love is the antidote for all the darkness that creeps in like an unwelcome guest. In Him, you and I, in Him, leaves no room for darkness.

Whether it be candles glowing, twinkle lights gleaming from the houses we drive by this time of year, or basking in the chilly-bright sunshine of winter, let the light shine in and remind us of what’s really true, and good, and beautiful.

He is light, and in Him is no darkness.

At all.

 

 

Yarn Along // Restful Pursuits + Progress is Most Important

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These days my knitting and crafting has been so hit and miss. My shoulder and arm won’t let me do much repetitive work for long, but I do sneak in rows occasionally. In the evenings, after the children are in bed, sometimes while I read aloud or when I listen to them read to me. Something about that yarn… the sight, the feel, the comfort of repeating stitches, fabric growing under my fingers.

It’s just so good to have a tangible reminder that work done is not in vain. I can see slow progress on my knitting, but the work of parenting is much more fluid and unseen.  I need these reminders that the stitches of days, in and out, repeated motions of truth told and meals prepared, hugs given, discipline handed out… all this is right and good, and input matters more than outcome.

So I mother and I knit, I wipe dishes and kiss hurts.  I speak truth to the ones in my care, and listen to the truth of the Spirit in my own heart.

I’ve been working on these rainbow socks since summer, in hopes to finish the pair for Miss A for Christmas.  We shall see if that gets accomplished. 🙂

My crochet blanket is probably big enough, but I can’t seem to make myself be done with it just yet.  When I’m working on it, it seems that inevitable that one of my girls wants to snuggle on my lap underneath it.  I think I may have one of these always going. Truly, truly fun to make.

This is only a portion of the books I/we are going through right now. I’m two chapters into Adorned – our women’s Bible Study group is going through it.  It’s very good so far.  Children of the Storm  came highly recommended by a friend, and we are reading it aloud as a family.  It’s a true story/biography about a girl and her family in Communist Russia, and the persecution they endured.  It’s sobering and excellent and inspiring all at once.  I’m going through Season’s of a Mother’s Heart again, and enjoying it every bit as much as I did the first time.  I’ve been picking it up when I need good reminders of mothering truth, reminders of loving and caring and nurturing being my highest goal.  The author, Sally Clarkson, always inspires me in this direction, and I love that it was written by her when her children were the same age as mine.  The Power of Habit is an unusual book choice for me, but I’m loving it.  It’s an easy and engaging read on the science of habits and how much of an impact they have on our lives.

I’ve recommitted to more reading these days… even if it’s just 3-5 minutes a day. I think the same holds true for all creative and restful pursuits.  Even if there isn’t time to spend hours engaging in them, it makes them no less worthwhile.  Perhaps it’s even more important in busy seasons, to make time for the things that bring joy.

Little bits of progress, day by day, row by row, line upon line.

Joining Nicole from Frontier Dreams

Joining Ginny from Small Things

Break Week + some much needed margin

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Break week.

I made a decision yesterday, in among the rest of the school planning I have been working on, that this was break week for us.

We have been going so, so, fast for the past 6 months… with a significant event occurring at least once every 3-4 weeks.

I’ve been working on our schedule and trying to figure out what works best for our family and our days.  One thing I realized is that there are three types of days we have. No school, partial or soft school, and a full schedule. Looking at where we have been in the last several months, I realized there have been very few days, except for absolute necessity, where we have taken a complete break from school.  Lots of full days, some partial days, but unless we’ve had to be gone for one reason or another, we’ve had our noses to the grindstone. This is all very diligent and noble on the surface, but the long and short of it is that they need a break.  I need a break. 

We need a break from the constant going, the pressure to perform and get all the things done. From the going and the doing and the activities, good though they all are. But we also need a break to pursue other important things that need to be done. 

We need to get a few extra chores done. We need to pursue interests and hobbies. Yesterday I needed to catch up on laundry, and they needed to have space to sprawl out and listen to an audiobook for awhile. I needed to work on planning.

We all just need some margin. And I need to get it though my head that it’s ok to just.stop.

As of yesterday I made a plan for the rest of our year that incorporates more of these weeks. It also incorporates weeks of partial school. Where all I require is math or their Ambleside reading. I’m rolling the idea around of year round schooling, but we shall see how that works out.

In the meantime, it’s 8:01 a.m. and I’m snuggled under a fleece blanket while the sun streams in my living room window. My girlies are singing at the top of their lungs, and last I knew my boys were scouting the woods in search of a place to build a new fort.

It’s the kind of day where anything looks possible, and I hope to menu-plan, read aloud, and look at the vibrant leaves in our woods and marvel at them time and time again.

a good kind of busy

I don’t really remember ever being quite so busy.  It’s funny, because it’s not a bad sort of busy, or the type of busy I wish weren’t mine. Just, lots going on, every minute, every day, every week.  There’s 7th grade fractions and narrations and books being read and new teenager feelings and a boy-man almost my height with feet that are beginning to rival his dad’s. There’s dreams of cows and sheep and a rabbit hutch being built for the nonexistent rabbits. There’s hunting to be done and things wished for and real life struggles with growing up and how in the world do you do that.

There’s loads of opinions and hot heads and a lot, lot of thankfulness that one of those heated heads is not my husband’s.  (The rest of us, well, …)

There’s Scripture sinking in and stinging and wrapping up in comfort and helping and guiding. There’s a whole lot of nostalgia at the littlest around here not being so little anymore. There’s just a disbelief that this life gets to be mine, with all its crazy riotous glory.

There’s evening plans and weekend plans and a yard sale (collective sigh of relief that that’s overwith). There’s entrepreneuring young men scouting out egg-buyers and odd jobs.

There’s girls singing their hearts out regularly a whole host of made-up lyrics. “The shepherd…! Of my souuuuuul… he will KEEEEEP! He will deliver, the KINGDOM….!!!”

There’s new habits I’m forming (earlier rise, earlier bedtime), a new schedule we are keeping that is bringing a level of sanity to these busy days. (In among this new schedule is 3 times daily where I make myself stop and pray… and breathe. And this, my friends, is beginning to anchor my days in good ways I couldn’t have even predicted.)

At the moment there’s one child  reading, and one who just showed me the old music box he fixed this afternoon after taking all the teeny tiny pieces apart. (I was duly impressed to hear it merrily sing its music box tune.) One girl is taking a much needed nap after falling apart more times than I can count this morning. And another is singing to herself in her bedroom.

My dishwasher is humming, my washing machine is nicely washing the last load of laundry. I’ve just brewed a cup of coffee for myself and I need to figure out what kind of soup we are having. (I’ve deemed Monday night soup-night.)

School is done for the day. My work is not, but there’s warmth and joy in service. In pouring out my heart and using my hands to wash/fold/rub a back. There’s apologies I need to make for the frustrated attitude I held tightly to earlier today.

So much busy, so much good.

And as a side note? It’s finally cold. And there’s yellow leaves and a fire in the fireplace for the first time yesterday. Yay, fall!

Its a good life.

With a good Father guiding.

 

 

Twenty things

It’s almost the first day of fall – and my 12 year old turns teenager on Monday.  It’s obvious time flies and somehow my heart slows and is unbelieving at the fast pace that surrounds me.  Everywhere I look there is change, growth, seasons, and it is just so crazy that I’m actually living this incredibly rich life.  I didn’t always see it so, and now that I’m understanding in a new way the fleeting-ness of little kids not little, and a marriage that’s seen almost 14 years, (and I know that’s short compared to my parents’ testimony of 52 years) I want to not waste one.single.moment.

I want to drink it in and live it well.  I want to let the relationships thrive and whisper peace to my soul when things go south on an average Friday morning.  (Yes, this was us this morning.). For so long I unwittingly took nearly everything for granted.  And now I see littles getting big.  I see hairs turning gray. I have a 7th grader, a 5th grader, a 1rst grader, and a 4 year old who is beside herself with wanting to do all the schooling things.  There are no babies waking me up. It was 9 short years ago when we had been wide-eyed foster parents for all of four weeks. God’s sense of humor in answering my desperate pleas for a family is not lost on me. 

So here we are.

I’m all weepy and unbelieving at the goodness of God, and more aware than ever before at the supreme blessing of being a wife, of being a mother, of having the freedom to teach my children.

I wake and put my feet on the floor, and it’s a gift.  Legs that work, eyes that see, hands that can dump coffee beans into the grinder and start the coffee maker.  It’s a gift to kiss my husband goodbye and tell him to hurry back home to us.  It’s a blessing to sort muddy clothes and sweep the crumbs off the floor.  Instead of seeing the dirt and early-wakers as inconvenient, oh how it is a gift.  Life’s a gift.  And the ability to settle into the Scriptures each morning and whisper too-quick prayers of blessing and thanksgiving over our day and these ones I love is more than I ever could have asked or imagined.

I forget this, then I’m reminded again.  Mr J was pretty upset today because all was looking hopeless and unfair, and I finally sent him to write down 20 things he was thankful for.

A few moments later he came out with a delightful list of blessings in his hand. Not surprisingly it was accompanied by a happy, but sheepish grin.  We talked about these things, talked about what life would look like without cousins, without Daisy and Henny-Penny (chickens), without siblings.

Yes, the reality and importance of listing blessings just keeps replaying over and over.

I had to think.. maybe that’s a good exercise for all of us.  Go to the bedroom, don’t come out until there are 20 thanksgivings.

Then think of what life would be like without them.

 

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Friendships. 

Coffee.

 Almost fall.  

Yellowing leaves. 

Maple buttercream candles from Walmart. 

A lovely conversation with my aunt.

 Talking to my mom regularly. 

Joking with my husband. 

Clean sheets. (Not on my bed yet. But they are clean and ready lol.) 

A free hour at the coffeeshop.

 Talking with a sweet young lover of Jesus who inspired me this week. 

Colossians 1. 

Discovering square-footage calculations with my eldest- and the light of understanding.

 Reading aloud to each of my kiddos today, separately.

  Nature finds of a deer antler, birdsnest, weird fungi, and two mushrooms this morning, and drawing and water coloring afterwards.  

Boys old enough to make breakfast. 

Prayer and the ability to see Jesus as the lover of my soul. 

Fresh croutons.  

A sourdough starter I’m attempting, that I named Fran (she’s very bubbly.) 

The fresh eggs sign my boys made, and their enthusiasm for entrepreneurial endeavors. 🙂

Good moments.

Good moments.

Ah. There surely is a wealth of those happening around here. In case you wonder: this disclaimer must be written… there are also a host of emotions and moments that aren’t so pleasant.  But I absolutely must dwell on what is good and pleasant and true and lovely.  So here goes!

-Mr J- so excited because there were boiled eggs for lunch today.

-The relentless enthusiasm and energy of young boy-men.

-Our lawn, mowed with precision and care, because our eldest takes great pride in his stripes.

-Miss E and her new little baby… “Her name is Elsa. And she woke me up last night because she kept saying ‘Mommy!’, ‘Mommy!” And crying for me.”

-The grin on Miss E’s face as she does a few “school” things. “I want to do my school” she says.

-Hearing Miss A read to me from her Dick and Jane book.

-The very real and present ache and goodness of recognizing just how precious life is.. how precious these souls are that make so many messes and eat so much food. They are seriously always hungry. Always. But they are a thriving, growing bunch of little (and not so little anymore) humans that are only here for a few years in our home.  The boyishness and bare feet and exploring and fort building and fresh-from-bath snuggles are mine to enjoy.  And I do not take it lightly.  Miss A’s most recent thing is that she declares days “Hug Days” and “Kiss Days.”

-Miss A’s story last night about a horse named Honey, a pony named Jelly, and a bunny named Nut.

-I’ve developed a new habit! I’ve been cleaning up my room for a few minutes in the morning.  Every morning after I get ready for the day, I set my timer on my phone for 5-7 minutes for my bedroom and 2 minutes for my bathroom. I’ve actually managed to do this for the past 2-3 weeks. It takes about a minute to make my bed, and a couple minutes to put away any clean clothes, gather anything on the floor, etc.  And oh goodness it’s a welcome change to walk into my room and see orderliness.  It puts my mind at rest.

-We started school. And we are using AmblsideOnline this year, a free curriculum that has guided me on book selections for my two eldest. I’m loving it.

-In reference to aforementioned news, everyone is excited about school starting. This, dear reader, was a shock to my system.  A very welcome shock, mind you.

-Mr. J’s reading ability has exploded in the last 6 months.  (I can’t help but connect this with the fact that 6 months ago was when I really starting devoting a lot more time to reading aloud.) He is devouring nearly everything I’m handing him.  I’m hearing things I’ve never heard before -“DID YOU KNOW!!! That Washington DC isn’t a state?! It’s a city!!  DID YOU KNOW?!! That an elephant can stand on the tongue of a blue whale?!”  It’s amazing what good, engaging, living books can teach our young’uns.  Spell check does NOT want me to put young’uns in that last sentence.  But I am rebelling. So there. 

-I’m reading a lot of books too. I’ve decided to stop feeling guilty for having lots and lots of books started without finishing them one at a time. As in, there are maybe 15 books I’ve started? But I’m reading a bit of a few of them each day. Absorbing, chewing, on the truths and good stuff I gather from each one. It’s been a great thing for me to regularly engage with books that are for myself, not just for the kids.

– Swimming at a new spot on the river/creek the other day that’s just around the corner. Haven’t ever been, and now I wonder why it took us so long. It was an impromptu, after-school-and-chores adventure. We grabbed $2 noodles for everyone at Walmart, and enjoyed a few hours of bliss by sparkling, gently flowing water. Me in a lawn chair with rainbow sock knitting, and them skipping rocks and floating downriver on noodles, and generally having the time of their lives.

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The gift of the moments we’re given


We are two days home now, and I’m trying?! to settle back in to some semblance of normal again.

It’s so strange that my brother is not here anymore.

My thoughts seem to be scattered and random and mixed in with finishing up the pickles that got started a week ago and the green beans need to be picked and what in the world are we going to have for supper?! And add to that mix readjusting to life with kiddos who have been out of their normal for a week and wait, WHAT?!!! Chores?!??!!! They are shocked.

However, I can’t say that I blame them entirely.  I would rather not do mine either.  Somehow I would much rather read a book or sleep off the jet lag or do anything but face the things that do, after all, need to be done.

Life doesn’t stop. My brother’s did, but ours hasn’t.

There are lots and lots of people to love and bless. Some of those people happen to be the ones I live with.  But there’s others, too.

Loss is a strange phenomenon. It has surprised me with its intensity and reminded me of what’s important.  I somehow cherish my brothers like I never have before, now that one of them is gone.  It’s crazy how losing someone has the capacity to bring forth a host of grateful feelings and love for the ones who are still here.

What an amazing thing – and another testimony to the truth that nothing’s wasted. Ever.

I think for a long time I kind of thought things would stay the same. That everyone and everything would be always the same. Death or illness really didn’t cross my mind. I’m sure I would have denied it if you would have asked me, because I knew that’s not how it worked. I just never thought about anything different.

And now I’m just contemplating the fact that there is just a wisp of life for each of us. What will we do with it? Will we squander it on self-pity? Anger? Irritability? Full disclosure: I confess that today in the midst of the chore fiasco I was less than my best mom-self. 

So, just a tiny sliver of time. It matters how we live it. It matters that we believe truth. It matters that we understand that there is a God orchestrating the minutiae of our lives. It matters what we do with the breath and words and energy we have been given; these things we often take for granted when we hop out of bed in the morning.

So I ask myself: what will I do with the rest of my life? What will I do with tomorrow’s minutes and moments?

It’s time to send that text, mend that relationship, hug that friend, be patient again with that child, (and myself, too..) and seek the Kingdom of God first above all else.

Because God is good. And He knows. He sees, and I believe He wants us to see just how very beautiful and important the life that He gave us really is.

heart failure

Dear David,

You’re gone. 

It’s so strange, and there’s a thousand conversations I would have liked to have had with you. 

But you’re gone. 

I didn’t really even know you that well, but I knew your walk, and I knew your eyes, and I knew your voice and the easy way you made me laugh. 

I remember well the times you talked so strongly about the way you respected our parents. 

And I remember the times when frustration and anger dominated my feelings for you. 

You were my big brother; biggest brother. 15 years between us and a whole lot of family memories and life experienced that I wasn’t a part of. 

But Mom says you were excited when I was born. That you helped name me, and here we are.  Me, at 35, raising a family and burying my brother. You… well, you’re gone from us now. 

I’m so glad that the agonizing weight of being out of breath is not yours to carry anymore. 

 

They say it’s because of your heart, at least that’s what we’re  all thinking. 

Heart failure. 

Oh David, heart failure. 

I don’t even know a fraction of how broken your heart was. I know it bled with regret. I know it revived and beat strong and hard for your daughter.  

 

You had an enlarged heart, yes. And that’s just appropriate. 

And now you’re gone. 

There’s wilting flowers sitting on your grave, and what’s left of your life is memories and mementos. 

I’m going to learn from this, David. Your life and your death will not be wasted. I promise.

 

I love you. I’m glad I got to be your little sister. 

Deborah