Count it all joy

Theres a big bulletin board hanging in my kitchen that holds so many memories… both recent and from what seems like a lifetime ago. I’m feeling so thankful for each of these people today- family and friends who feel like family- and for frozen moments in time that we get to remember with them forever ❤️✨

But, I wouldn’t be telling the full truth if I didn’t say that I’m feeling a little sad too. You see, this bulletin board hangs right beside our back door and the sunlight from the window has, slowly, over time, faded the ultrasound pictures I had hanging on it from when Landon and Harper were growing in my belly. I don’t mind that they’ve faded, I have more in baby books and between the crinkled pages of my Bible. But, as I was taking them down and rearranging and making room for new memories to go up on the board, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’ll ever have another ultrasound picture of a sweet little profile. I couldn’t help but remember the sound of Landon and Harper’s heartbeats and think about the hours I spent studying every curve on those little black and white images and praying over the people they’d one day become.

Grief. It hits you when you least expect it. When you stop to do a simple task between unloading the dishwasher and folding loads of laundry. When you haven’t even had time yet today to stop and think about the hurt in your heart. It creeps up quietly and suddenly, you’re thinking more about what you’ve lost than what you’ve been given. I stopped, stood back, and looked at this beautiful reminder of friendship and loyalty and growth and change and the Lord’s faithfulness and provision, and I chose joy. Of course, part of me is still sad. Part of me still has questions that will probably never be answered. But in the midst of it all, I choose joy. And whatever you’re going through today, you can too. Because just look at all we have to be thankful for. Let’s not miss it, friends ❤️😭🙌🏻 He’s a good, good Father.

Count it all joy and let Him carry you through.

From Shadows of Sadness to Warmth of Hope

It all feels so complicated. There are so many layers to grief. Today is the first day of October and for a few weeks in early spring, I thought we’d be welcoming baby #3 this month. Grayson was so sweet and so excited. He wondered if the baby might share his birthday. We talked about names. And then, I lost the baby. I suppressed the sadness and disappointment and just moved right along, justifying it by deciding that if I hadn’t taken a test so early, I might have not even realized that I was miscarrying and that it was so early, I didn’t even need to go to the doctor to be checked out. Fast forward several months and we were filled again with hope and excitement and awe and wonder over who the little person growing in my womb might be- only to lose yet another baby, twice as far along, and be left with far more questions than answers. I decided keeping it all to myself wasn’t the healthiest route, so I shared my story and was blown away by the outpouring of love and encouragement we received and by the number of women I know and love who have suffered in silence for years over babies they too have had the opportunity to carry in their hearts, but never in their arms.

This kind of grief is confusing and complicated. We can be so filled with joy, yet be angry and frustrated at the same time. We can ask God, “WHY?!” while in the very next breath, thank Him for what He’s given us and for His perfect plan that we know is for our good and His glory. This kind of grief is complicated because one minute we can be laughing and pushing our babies in a swing at the park, and the next minute completely overcome with the kind of ache only a mother who has lost a child understands when we see another mom nursing her newborn on a bench while watching her older kids play. We wonder if we’ll ever have that privilege again and feel heartache. And we thank Jesus that we’ve had that privilege before and feel honored. It’s complicated. It comes in waves and sometimes, it can be hard to see the sunshine through the trees. It can be easy to miss the joy because of the hurt. It can be easy to become more focused on the gift than the Giver. And that’s when we have to step out of the shadows of sadness, into the warmth of hope. We have to preach the Gospel to ourselves and remind ourselves that our Father loves us and can use heartache for good if we let Him. We have to talk about the complexity and overwhelming nature of the grief we’re sifting through and do the messy work of tilling our own hearts because it’s our own hearts that Jesus has entrusted to raise little disciples. Motherhood is kingdom work, and like grief itself- it’s complicated and messy and hard. But trusting Jesus to hold our hand and walk with us through it makes every step of the journey worth it. Step into hope with me today, friends. Whatever season you’re walking through, choose hope and cling to the Father.