Sharing Stories of Loss

This was a hard week. By Friday, I found myself crying off and on throughout the day. I finally asked myself, “Why am I so weepy this week?”. As I looked back over the last 7 days, over each one and all that it held, I realized all the hard and sad news that was shared. It was as if I hadn’t noticed things stacked up in a pile in the corner due to all the daily life happening around me.

Each day it seemed there were new people reaching out for prayer. Sorrow and heaviness for sickness and trials, loneliness, a lack of community. As each new story was unwrapped, my heart sank.

Saturday morning, as I got ready to visit dear friends whose son is at Children’s Hospital right now, I read Psalm 126.

“Restore our fortunes, LORD, as streams renew the desert.

Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.

They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.”

I love agricultural imagery because it is so tangible and easy for me to understand. The analogy was so beautiful to see. Many times I have planted in tears. There are times in life where we think our tears are for nothing. But I had a picture after reading this psalm of tears watering a seed. It grows up and it produces an abundance out of sorrow. Joy out of sadness.

These things my friends are bearing are so heavy. They are planting in tears. They are weeping as they prepare the soil for what they long to see grow. And they will wait. But as we share those stories together, what joy will be there when that harvest is collected.

 

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Wading Through Summer

It hit me the other day as I packed up to go to the pool with my crew; we need a lot less stuff than a few years ago. (REJOICE!) I remember days feeling like a total sherpa (you know, the guys who carry all the gear on donkeys up mountains for a big climb?) with all the life protecting gear, food and toys and “just in case” items; not to mention towels and shoes and clothes for everyone.

Today I played with my ancient bestie who is providing respite care for a baby while her foster family is on vacation. She has two boys who are the same age as mine, so this child makes three. It took her 3 trips (with help) to get back and forth from the car to the pool where we hung out today. She had baby formula and pureed food on her shirt and pants. It all came back to me as I helped her and watched her do what comes naturally to us as Mothers. The loving and the caring, the helping and the serving, the sacrifice and the struggle.

On the one hand, I am so glad to be passed that stage (of carrying their stuff) with my kids, but on the other I miss those baby days!  They are so precious and fleeting.

My brain still feels like a plate of spaghetti most days, just as it has since my children arrived. Only now days I feel as if I need to make an excel spreadsheet for all the things I’m trying to keep straight as the worlds of each individual in my family collide, overlap and co-habitate. Life as a Mom is so BIG and so encompassing.

Our transition this summer was much faster than usual into summer chaos. It wasn’t like I thought it would be. They didn’t even need two weeks! There has been little drama in fact. Everyone seems to be getting along and genuinely enjoying all that each day holds. We’ve reveled in eating dinner on the back porch and sat in awe and gratefulness as the sun sets and our kids run around the yard squirting each other with waterguns.

Life isn’t perfect over here. The sink is leaking, there’s a mouse in the basement, sales are slow to come in at my husbands job and I’m juggling summer child care for my side job. There are broken relationships that weigh heavy on my heart, sorrow and despair that friends and family are wrestling with and so many other things not worth mentioning here.

I’m challenging myself to be grateful for the beauty, to find my sense of awe and passion in what life holds right here and now. God is there, in those details and pathways.

Today a young friend said, ” I wish we didn’t have free will. It would be so much better if we didn’t.” I responded, “No, it wouldn’t. Without free will there is no awe, there is no worship.” My ancient bestie added, “there would be no sense of beauty”. Life is a gift to discover. Even in our pain and our sorrow they remind us and point us to what is good and true and lovely.

Today I am grateful for my lovely friend who has opened her heart to a baby whose story is already difficult and sad. I am grateful for kids who can put their own shoes on and help me carry our stuff. I am grateful for mouse traps and a second french press and bowls to catch the water from leaky sinks. And I am thankful for a God who sees, who knows, who names and calls us to himself.  #longlivesummer #glorytogodinthehighest