Love Showed Up With a Simple Offer

Today’s post comes to us from one of my dear friends, Brenna D’Ambrosio. Her words are always water for my thirsty soul and her gracious, soulful approach to life never fails to stop me in my tracks. Enjoy, I dare you not to. 014

If you’ve left a church you’ve been part of for a long time, you know the emotions that go with it. And if the circumstances are less than ideal, the pain is even worse. My story centers around the day I walked through new sanctuary doors carrying heartache and sadness.

I was grieving. I was grieving the loss of our time at our old church, the one I had been part of for almost a decade. The relationships changed due to distance. The people who had become my family were now gone. The people I did life with were all a plane ride away.

I was grieving the atmosphere when we left – it was all bittersweet. We had gone through what I can only describe as walking through mud up to my waist. It was painful and exhausting and all I wanted was relief.

Tears were quick to flow in those weeks and months and I couldn’t even tell why – too many emotions coursing through a nine-month pregnant woman.

I walked into the new sanctuary, the one thousands of miles away, with a swollen belly and my head hanging low. We had just moved from the East Coast to the Midwest. I was 37 weeks pregnant and carrying my 18 month old with me. I was tired. My feet hurt. I just wanted to finish unpacking and then curl up on a couch with my family and rest until it was time to have our baby. But I knew that if we didn’t visit a church that week, I’d run the risk of not going back for a very long time. I was so physically tired. I was even more emotionally and spiritually tired.  But we went that Sunday morning, hesitantly yet determinedly.

I kept my eyes down; I had no energy for small talk. I silently prayed that this wasn’t one of those churches that made you raise your hand if you were new or talk to people during long drawn out greeting periods. In and out. I needed an easy win. I just wanted to say that I made it to church. Continue reading

The Melt

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2014 has been an epic winter for the midwest and for us here in West Michigan 5 foot snow piles are a normal part of the scenery.

We have had snow cover on the ground since before Thanksgiving with very little days above freezing and always additional accumulation raising the level of snow in the front yard.

“Alright winter, you’ve proved your point. Enough already. Go home.”

The cloud cover has been endless and it seems as though weeks have passed without a shred of blue sky or sunshine.

But this week? We hit 40 degrees and the sun hit the snow and turned it into fields of translucent glitter.

The kids and I headed out in the warm sunshine to build a snowman from the wet snow in our front yard. It promptly fell over from the warmth of the day.

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Continue reading

The Romance of Zooming out

It was at a busy Christmas party when my Grandpa handed me the white envelope containing their Christmas card. I opened it the following morning over coffee and lost my breath. I still do when I see it on the fridge.

It’s two pictures, nestled side by side, one labeled 1949 and taken after their wedding, and one taken in 2013 taken on a wooden chair in their condo.

63 years of marriage… and counting.

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In the first picture they’re all black and white smiles, arms around in each other in long dark dress coats. My Grandmother is wearing a sort of pillbox hat with a pearl pin cheated slightly to the right.

In the second picture they’re sitting on a chair in the corner, her on his lap, both clad in Calvin College sweatshirts, likely on their way to my cousin’s basketball game.

I’m not sure I own anything else that brings as much perspective as this Christmas card.

63 years, 5 children, 14 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren with one on the way.

All of us

These days I fly around the house upset over messes, worried about taxes, obsessing over buying a new house and ranting over the scarcity of time. Wishing that different things defined my day.

Zoom Out

My grandparents have 56 years of marriage on Kel and my 7.

In 56 years I surely won’t even remember this tax season and if I don’t get my act together it’s likely I’ll regret my bad attitude toward mess and time. Maybe I’ll even see it mirrored in the lives of my own children.

In 56 years 2014 will likely be reduced to just a few memories, flashes and photographs that managed to survive the years and somehow get off my iphone.

In 56 years (I pray) it will be Kel and I in sweatshirts reflecting on a lifetime of memories that may likely be trying to escape around the edges of our eighty-eight year old minds.

Whatever we’re doing this year is building a legacy, it does matter, it is seeds that will surely blossom into fruit we won’t see this side of heaven.

Yet then again, it’s just taxes.
It’s just laundry.
It’s just writing.
It’s just a car repair.
It’s just a new house, a place to do the good work of living well and on purpose.

When you zoom out suddenly you realize that there is a lot more romance in the sweet right now. Because at a distance you’re not in the fray of minutia, you’re on an epic journey, you’re dancing a dance that means so much more than anything that could possibly be getting you down in the moment.

There is deep romance form this perspective, you’re in-between photographs weaving a tapestry that will not leave the world unchanged with it’s richness.

There are markers in life that change the trajectory of things, there are defining moments… but so often it’s just life, it’s the small sustaining stuff, the pixels that compose a bigger picture.

So often those pixels seem like all there is but if you can breathe the romantic practice of zooming out, of remembering who you are and what’s really going on.

Then suddenly you become not the woman freaking out about taxes, but the maybe-someday matriarch doing the good and true work of building a family, sustaining a generation.

Giving life to something that will sustain deep familial love… always and forever inviting the world in.

“Come see, Come share, Come acquaint yourself with the source of love and sustainer of life.”

Zoom out

Remember who you are and what you’re doing. You’re the bride and you’re the matriarch in the middle of the story, a romance that is composed of small things that will not leave the world unchanged, guaranteed.

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Ordinary is Extraordinary (children’s book review and giveaway!)

So yesterday a dream came true, did you know? Could you feel it?

Yesterday one of my best friend’s new Children’s book, Extraordinary Jane by Hannah Harrison, hit the shelves (both digital and in real life) and it’s so beautiful.

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I saw it take shape in her dining room, I heard about the story as we drove to the children’s museum and went out for trivia at the wine bar.

And now it’s here and we’re reading it on the couch before bed and after lunch and I find myself in tears every read through… because books are miracles guys.

They’re whispers of dreams fanned into reality by hard work and a thousand bootstrap moments.

I still remember the first time I met Hannah, six years ago at our initial lifegroup meeting in Oklahoma. I was sitting on a folding chair, eating tacos, terrified to engage anyone and exhausted by our move into town two days earlier.

Across the room everyone was oohing and ahhing over something, later in the evening they called me over to fill me in. This girl had painted these amazing Alice in Wonderland portraits of one of the group member’s daughters. They were tiny… and beyond amazing.  You can see them here

Christmas crafting after Thanksgiving dinner

Christmas crafting after Thanksgiving dinner

Over time we became good friends, sharing holidays together as families and swapping woes about being writers and moms and OH MY GOD the HEAT in Oklahoma, surely we will die (she’s from New Hampshire.)

She’s one of the most encouraging, hilarious, creative and lovely people I’ve ever met on the planet and I miss our walks and in-person chats deeply.

And now holding her book is like holding a piece of her heart, straight from her home in Oklahoma via Amazon.com.

Let’s talk about the book a bit more, shall we?

Jane is an ordinary dog in an extraordinary circus. She isn’t strong, graceful, or brave like her family. When she tries to be those things, Jane just doesn’t feel like herself, but she also doesn’t feel special. Is she really meant for this kind of life? Her Ringmaster thinks so, but not for the reasons Jane believes.

This is a lesson I want to impart to my children on a regular basis, and certainly one I’m still working through myself. It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is accomplishing and then turn those observations into very real feelings of inadequacy.

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The theme is something every child in our accomplishment-driven society needs to have read to them. Through the experiences of a circus dog, maybe we can take one more step toward helping them believe that it’s not your accomplishments that make you loved or acceptable. Your parent’s love, God’s love, the love of true friends isn’t conditional, doesn’t depend on your achievement.

I think my favorite parts of the book are the tender and thoughtful expressions on the Ringmaster’s face and he helps Jane figure out where she belongs. To me they mirror the acceptance and love that I know God has for me I don’t have to perform or fit in a niche to be extraordinary in his eyes.

“When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does” ~Kathleen Kelly of the Little Book Store

This is a lesson I want my children to internalize.

I hope that long into the future, when Noelle and Caedmon are selecting books for their children’s libraries that this book book floats back into their memories, that it has become a classic by that time.

And lucky for you I am giving away a copy of this gorgeous book today!

And all you need to do is leave a comment below that answers this question: What book did you read as a child that wove it’s way into your heart and made an impact?

For me it was Perfect the Pig by Susan Jeschke, I loved the way Perfect was enough for her, beautiful even though he was very different… how she fought for him, loved him.  

But don’t rely on the giveaway, go buy a copy right now. Buy a few and do what I am doing, give them away at every kid’s birthday party for the foreseeable future.

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Buying products through the links on this page helps support this blog, so if you’re going to buy them anyway…

Reflections on the life-saving gift of Caedmon on the occasion of his 3rd birthday

My baby is three. I have no idea how that happened, except yes, I sort of do.

It happened through late night nursing and strained carrots, through sippy cups and walks in the park, it came in tantrums and way too early morning snuggles and then?

Then this morning we woke up and there he was, three years old and requesting his 5 am snuggles, whispering me awake, warm breath on my face.

I followed him down the hall and pointed to the decorations, the streamers, the puff balls and the tissue wrapped banister.

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He made demands, because even on his birthday that’s who he is: a little boy still clinging to the firm belief that he is the axis on which the world turns.

Then there was an epic muffin-related tantrum where he ran around the dining room with the $6 box of gluten free muffin mix screaming.

“I don’t want you to make them, I just want to eat them!”

I’ve learned to halt logical thought in moments like this. #wheresmycoffeeIloveyouhappybirthday

Time out for both of us. 

Time outs are all about time to think things over, right?  

I choose to think about the timing of babies.  It is as my friend Anne Bogel says “a crapshoot.”  

Can I tell you a secret? We had a big fight after Caedmon was conceived over who was supposed to do what and “what if we just got pregnant?”

Then I retreated into the bathroom to cry, wailing about how if I did turn up pregnant then I would always remember how we fought about it.

what if our fight just turned my womb into a hostile and unfriendly environment?!”

Don’t you love the ridiculous things we think and say in the middle of arguments? 

And then? Cue Caedmon.

Caedmon who announced his arrival before we’d even had the chance to celebrate Noelle’s first birthday. Who’s presence made me worry that people would doubt our intelligence and sanity with two babies so close together (20 months.)

Little did we know that this pregnancy was a life raft in disguise. Little did we know that this baby boy would be more than wanted, he would be a needed distraction in one of the worst seasons of our lives.

The baby I wasn’t sure I was ready for is the thing that kept me going after my mom took her life.  

I was in my third trimester of pregnancy with Caedmon when we got the call, made the trip, planned the funeral. I was heavy with pregnancy and grief when I spent hours and hours on my feet greeting funeral guests in cheap, plasticy ballet flats.

At my next OB appointment I filled my doctor in on what had gone down since our last visit. He immediately escorted me down the hall to “take a peek at the little guy.”

“Is he going to be okay? Isn’t stress really hard on unborn babies?”
“He’s going to be fine, it’s going to be just fine.”
“But I’ve read that in like, a thousand places. Extreme stress isn’t healthy in pregnancy, I’m there, extremely stressed.”
“It’ll be okay, you’ll see.  He’s doing great.” 

Pan to baby on ultrasound. Healthy heartbeat. Healthy growth. Healthy boy.

When people asked me about the pregnancy I would usually tell them it was all fine

But if I decided to be honest I would tell them: “I just want him to be born, even early.  I want him to be in a happier place than inside me. I need to see him. I worry about him, being along for the ride on all of this. What if he’s born sad?”

People would tell me it was ridiculous but that didn’t change my mother’s heart…

 I just wanted to see him on the outside, have him in Kel’s arms and safe from the storm inside of me.

Yet all along I knew that this child came for a reason. He came as the best and possibly only beautiful distraction that could have turned our heads in that season.

I don’t understand the foreknowledge of God and I couldn’t tell you why mom left as she did, when she did.

But I deeply believe that Caedmon’s birth right after my Mom’s death was no accident.

photography by Janey Wilson

photography by Janey Wilson

And when he came? Oh, the joy of that moment.

When he came I was able to let go of the worst of it and trade it willingly, gladly for the joy that comes with holding a minutes-old baby.  It wasn’t “all better” but guys, it was better with Caedmon.

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He was loud, he was particular, he was beautiful, he peed all over everything but he was here.

And now he’s three and he doesn’t understand a word of this story. He only grins when I show him pictures of the day he was born, He grins and asks when the muffins will be ready.

He has no idea that there was a time in which he was one day and seven pounds old, a time in which he kind of saved our lives.

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32 things I’ve figured out in my 32 years.

Monday was my 32nd birthday and for the most part we spent it snowed in and entertaining kids. It wasn’t fancy but Kel did everything he could possibly do to make it special, including gluten free french toast and a total takeover of my Facebook page.

He hacked my Facebook page and asked my friends and family to share thoughts or memories of me and it was over and above the best part of the day.

It’s fascinating learning about yourself through other people’s memories of you.  People chimed in from every stage of my life reaching all the way back to elementary school and it made me feel whole.

I saw the continuity of myself, the seeds that were planted in 3rd grade tell the story of the person I am today. Someone who is comfortable being honest and unique, who loves words and apparently has and will always love musicals and movie soundtracks.

Seeing the story of yourself told through the eyes of those you who love you is an amazing gift and to all who chimed in, thank you.

So that being said I’ve spent the last few days reflecting on the things I’ve learned along the way.  So here they are:

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32 lessons learned in 32 years of life.

1) The moment you think you don’t need to pack a spare diaper, tampon, or hand sanitizer is the exact moment you should turn around and get it, because? Life is mean like that.

2) Eat real food made from real, understandable ingredients. It tastes better and it’s what your body was designed for.

3) Having kids is exhausting and it takes everything you have, and more, much more.  Then, in a surprise instant it gives you more than it ever took. I say this with a 6 inch scar across my abdomen.

4) Most things are better with a good playlist. Listen to good music, I use and adore Spotify.   

5) If you wash your makeup brushes regularly you’ll get less zits. True story. You can do it using baby shampoo, it’s not hard. 

6) Going somewhere? Bring a book, you’ll end up waiting and will enjoy it more than mindless phone surfing.

7) If you’re feeling small or less than worthy, get off the internet. Often it’s the compare / contrast that has you feeling scattered. (I get paid to do social media and currently don’t have facebook or twitter on my phone for this very reason)

8) Take more baths, they’re good for your nervous system and your soul.

9) Discipline sounds constricting, but usually it just frees you up to live a deeper, healthier, happier life.  Sounds backwards, but it’s not.

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10) Having company? Don’t freak out about the house. Set the timer for 10 minutes, do what you can, then pour wine and remember that your friends love you just as you are.

11) If you’re ready to explode, take a walk.  There is something about moving and nature that resets the crazy, it’s probably even science.

12) There is more than one way to do everything: This includes parenting, marriage, eating, working, everything. Judge not.

13) It’s easy to get wrapped up in who is not noticing you but it’s far better to love and tend to those who are. It brings with it contentment and depth.

14) Hot breakfasts change lives.

15) Gratitude fixes nearly all internal struggles. There’s this stat that says that one week of daily, intentional gratitude affects the next three months of your mental health and outlook.

16) Celebrate things. Buy champagne, toast the milestones, write on and save the corks.

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17) “I’m sorry” is one of the hardest and most important tools you have. I know, I KNOW it’s hard, but do it anyway.

18)  Try to stop worrying about other people’s bad habits and choices. You can only change you.

19) You will never regret a night of going to bed early with a book.

20) Learn this phrase: “I’m not in charge and it’s wonderful.”

21) Go to therapy as needed, maybe more. No shame, NO SHAME, we all need mental tune ups or complete overhauls at times.

22) Potty training is not a litmus test for good parenting. They won’t go to college in diapers. Stop listening to whoever is making you feel like a failure in the diaper aisle.

Read Books

23) Don’t feel guilty over reading more novels than non-fiction. Stories change lives as effectively as “how-to” books.

24) Reconciliation isn’t easy but it’s worth it to go to long haul with people.  This being said some people will walk out of your life and you can’t fix it, for this I suggest a good cry and maybe some ice cream. (refer to 18)

25) Laughter is a salve for so many wounds, especially in marriage.

26) It is no small thing to get to know yourself, it’s hard and worth it.  I recommend this sorter to find out your MBTI temperament. 

27) Avoid “When I’m a _____, I’ll never ______” statements.  They’re judgey and often times they just make you feel silly later.

28) Your concept of home will change as you get older, this is really scary but also natural.

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29) Give your children your time and attention before they start demanding it in the wrong ways. I schedule kid time before I schedule work from home, it’s like making a deposit in their love tanks.

30) In this DIY world it’s tempting to do ALL THE THINGS.  Pick some things that you just don’t do, I’ve learned this the hard way.

31) As often as you can take 100 things to Goodwill or the equivalent.  Less really IS more. I promise.

32) Embrace your age but never, ever stop allowing the wonder of this wide world to stop you dead in your tracks like a child at Disney world.

What would you add?  Come on chime in, consider my birthday present. 

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Praying Songs and Fighting On

my hand's wet on the wheel

I walked out of the grocery store discouraged, pushing my half empty cart to our dusty mini van with one hand as I grasped my daughter, Noelle’s hand with the other.

When I finally got it loaded up I plunked my head onto the steering wheel inadvertently causing the horn to blare and startle a passing shopper while my four year old burst into laughter in the back seat.

As I put the van into reverse and pulled out of the parking lot I started to chastise myself for overspending as I reviewed the receipt in my head.  “Where did I go wrong? Am I ever going to go out grocery shopping without leaving the store feeling so guilty?”

Thought trains like this can quickly escalate to a session of beating the crap out of myself so I began to look for footholds that would help me stop the downward spiral.

“One grocery trip doesn’t define your life, neither does one morning of writing work.  You are more than this snapshot.”

Suddenly Noelle called out: “Hey mom!  How ’bout some music?”

Yes music!  Something grounding, foundational.  I made my request to Siri and miraculously she understood and cued up the appropriate track, Come to Me by Bethel Loft.

“I am the Lord your God.  I go before you now.  I stand beside you, I’m all around you.  Though you feel I’m far away, I am closer than your breath.  I am with you, more than you know.”

I started to sing these words, belt them out like a prayer my life depended on.  Suddenly, instantly, I was transported back in time to my mother’s car, myself a little girl in the back seat.

I was years away watching her sing along to powerful music, dancing with her hands and drumming on the steering wheel with a passion that spoke to the depth of her need to cling, to hold on tight.

I didn’t know it at the time, but she was praying through music, unintentionally teaching me to lean into the power of lyrics when my own prayers weren’t flowing.  When I was losing my way again.

She was teaching me that when you feel too weak to speak truth into your own life, find a song that will do it for you and sing. Sing loud and squeaky and off key.  Sing like your life depends on it, because right now, it does.  

For all the times I saw my mother give up, there were twice as many times that I saw her fight on.

Through her depression, her fear, her crippling anxiety.

Whatever people may think about those who take their own lives, there is depth beneath that one choice that goes unknown to those on the outside.  There is more to a life than that final choice.  Yes, it speaks to sickness, weariness and defeat but it doesn’t tell the story of all the other times when they prayed a song and fought on.  

It started with a shopping trip, it almost turned into session of despair, but instead it became a prayer through song.

A moment to remember the good practices that my mother left behind.

Ultimately it ended in passing this practice onto my own daughter, who stepped out of the van singing…  “Come to me, I’m all you need.”

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One Day in the life (2013)

Yesterday I spent the day as usual, there were dishes, kid meltdowns, preschool drop off and laundry. The one thing that make it different is that I took time to document it, both the little and the obvious.

I did this as alongside many others in a project called One Day headed up by Hollywood Housewife.  This was my first year doing this and it was fantastic.  Every couple of hours I would go to Instagram and check out the hashtag #onedayhh and there was life.  There were other people’s coffee cups, diaper changes, mini vans and laundry baskets.

And you know what?  It overwhelmed me in it’s simple and really profound beauty.  All the minutia of daily life adds up to the loveliness of the human experience.  I may have teared up one or thrice.  

Okay so here we go, a day in my life.

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 5:25- I finally get out of bed where I’ve been laying awake since Caedmon begged for the 6th time to get into our bed and I caved. He proceeded to kick me so I finally got up to greet the day.  Not a great night’s sleep, but I’m awake… ya know?

I turned on the porch light to check the weather. Nope, no snow but sparkly frost, I headed out in my bathrobe to get a decent picture but quickly gave up and headed back inside where….

This lovely little girl is waiting for me way, waaay too early.  She is usually my 3rd up and has been known to sleep until 7:30, which is late for our kids.Oneday1

So while Noelle and I chat I start to unload the dishwasher, which is one of the best choices I can make in the morning.  Then the kettle whistles and I pour it into the french press to allow the water and grounds to make love and coffee.  Noelle gets in on the action too wish warm milk and a splash of coffee in a sippy cup.  This has been our routine for at least two years.

Finally I give in and go downstairs to let the yowling cat out of his nighttime storage area.  If we don’t do this he keeps us up at night.  While I’m down there, I start some Leapfrogs for Noelle, then I come upstairs to try to do some devotionals.  I love She Reads Truth plans as view on the YouVersion app.  I’m just finishing up James… late. #typicalforme

Today it’s talking about patience, which I sorely need in my life right now.  I want all the future things, now.  Like our next house and Kel’s next job.

As I do I admire this distressed, almost whitewashed looking end table, that I love.

Oneday2

6:35 The second one is up and fussy, in this shot he’s mad that I didn’t give him cereal with a red spoon.  Yes, I caved and hauled the red spoon out for him, then I promptly sent him downstairs to watch tv with his sister.

Am I the only one who’s mantle looks like this?  Pumpkins and Christmas trees?

Oneday3 Continue reading

Day 14: Here is where we love you anyway

It was an idyllic afternoon, mid sixties, sunny, leaves falling around our feet.  We stood there at the park, Kel and I, watching the kids tunnel through the recesses of the playground.

Nothing could be sweeter, and then?  Our two year old son smacked his sister in the face, hard.

We delegated who would comfort and who would discipline, I drew the short straw and hauled him to the van to take a time-out in his car seat miss out on the rest of park time.

Flash forward to later, after a nice family dinner, when it happened again: They got into a heated moment and he smacked her in the face.

He’s a two year old boy in every sense of the word, alive, energetic and ready to fight the universe… whether he agrees with it or not.  

You want to take my picture by this pumpkin to show off my old man, harry-potter sweater?  Then I'm shoving the pumpkin off the porch.  Cheese!

You want to take my picture by this pumpkin to show off my cute, old man, harry-potter sweater? Then I’m shoving the pumpkin off the porch. Cheese!

Whatever you say, he says the other thing.
Anytime you smother kiss on his cheeks, he wipes them off.
If you serve oatmeal, he wants eggs.
When his sister says “yes yay!”  he says “nope, no!”

He’s a walking, talking, two-year-old cliché.

It happens in more years than just our second…. it happens in marriage, at work, at the grocery store.

So what does one do when caught in “that stage?”  In the land of endless battles and “no!?”

You love anyway, even and especially when you don’t want to.

Because we all get love when we don’t deserve it, and that’s probably when we need it most.  Seasons arise in our hearts where we play the role of Hosea’s wife and do unlovable things just to see if everyone leaves.

It’s our inner two year old.

So tonight after “no” number 174 and face smack number 2, when we were tucking Caedmon in for the punishment of an early bedtime, we didn’t chastise him or run him down.

There was correction, there was explanation of consequences… but mostly? We told him how much we loved him anyway.

All three of us gathered around his tiny bed, kissed his angry face and told him: “Hey, we love you even though you hit and hurt… we’re not going anywhere… but you need to call it a night, let’s do another day tomorrow.  

So here’s a story and a song and a thousand kisses, here’s grace and love and another reminder from the God who does it best that there’s nothing you can do to make us love you less.

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Heaven and Matchbox Cars (guest post at Deeper Family)

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I’m an orphaned adult, I have been since I was 28. It’s about as tough as you would
imagine it is, this parentless existence, but the pain is sharpest when I reflect on all my
children are missing out on, the grandparents they will never have.

There is a very real ache that comes from realizing that your parents will never meet
your children. Never play out all the imaginary scenarios they created in their minds
when they projected their lives forward.

It flies in the face of how things were supposed to be. They should be here, grilling at
birthday parties and buying cutesy outfits at SAMs club. Their faces were supposed to
grace the snapshots of our lives, all covered in mud and frosting and childhood.

As a parent, I have to swallow this lump most of the time and focus on what we do 
have, how richly we are blessed and all that can still be. So I bring them to life for my
children with stories and photographs and a few old VHS videos of family camping trips.

I tell them about Mommy’s Mommy and Daddy, that they’re in heaven and that I miss
them a lot.

On my brightest and best days I raise thankful hands, for we are loved as a family,
adopted and held by a group of people I count as family, as essential, each one an
unspeakable gift.

On my darker days? I feel jilted and harbor jealous resentment toward my friends for
simply having parents. For posting grandpa pictures on Facebook and sending their
kids to “grandma camp.” This sucks twice because it leaves me feeling like an orphan
AND a bad friend.

The other day, in a slump of melancholy, I let it slip to my four year old daughter that
everything dies: people, animals, flowers, all of it. At first I thought she’d brush it off and
go back to her daydreamy play, but instead she burst into tears.

Because I’d just hit her with one of life’s harshest realities, the one that breaks our
hearts from the moment we internalize it.

Please click over to Deeper family to finish up this post and if it’s your first time there, dig in, it’s really one of the most beautiful blogging collectives online.