Monthly Archives: May 2017

Back to Work, Part 2

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God Sprinkles, First Day Back at Work

 May31st 2016

The sprinkles were many and perfect . . . Every one! They looked like friends who take you all the way to your door with new rose folders and pretty Kleenex and fresh flowers and chocolate. And more chocolate with love when you get to your desk. Friends with strong hugs and bosses who dish up to do lists with ice cream and breezes. People who were kind with love in their eyes and did enough to make you feel loved without bringing your ugly cry.  


 People who started their day by making sure that yours started with encouragement.  


But at the end of the day with darkness here and battles won- the ugly cry found its way to your heart. Those big girl panties wouldn’t stay up anymore and the longing – it hovers. And you’re looking for the landing pad for the crash and burn upon you. And he is there. His voice is gentle. His eyes both admire and inspire you.  

His every word is for your wellness. His every prayer for your wholeness. His endless vow for every season. His love beyond all reason. And in this moment, he leads you. He comforts and whispers hope and peace to your heart. And God himself has reached down and scooped you up and He used the arms of your husband to do it. And you cannot believe the lie that you are forsaken because the truth is all around you: no woman has ever been loved more than you. And you try to remember that your husbands name is Chris because you swear – -He looks exactly like Jesus. 


Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. 

Ephesians5:25


And these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

#EG41


 I knew He would sprinkle what I need but I didn’t know how loved I would feel that day. And I didn’t know the miracle that was happening with my husband. At the end of the day, it was all about him. And Him. And it got pretty fuzzy for me- the difference between my God and my husband. That is why it’s easy to respect and obey Chris. Because of his great love. This is a beautiful thing that came out of the broken.  I’m always amazed by it but. . . It’s just what God does.  

Back to Work

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May 30, 2016 Last Night of Maternity Bereavenent Leave


I’ve Never. . . 

Returned from maternity leave without a baby to return to, show off, check on. . . 


Without pumping and storing and transporting 


Or with people not quite knowing what to do with my presence


Or with the uncertainty of what level of emotional control I will have. . . 


Or with that feeling I know all too well that things are not as they should be. 


But I know this. I am blessed. I mostly have control of my attitude. And my God goes with me and before me. . . 

He knows the way. I don’t walk alone and he knows my heart. He’ll sprinkle what I need throughout my day so I just need to set an alarm and look sharp. . . And be a good listener. . . And. . . Good gravy it’s like I’ve never worked before and yet I’ve been working very hard. . . And I work in a big place called a hospital where there’s lots of band aids and Kleenex and people who’ve dedicated their whole lives to caring for others. . . It’s gonna be great! I tell you. Great! 


Above all, love each other warmly, because love covers many sins. Welcome each other as guests without complaining. Each of you as a good manager must use the gift that God has given you to serve others.

1 Peter 4:8-10


Even after the year I’ve had , it’s weird to see the words maternity and bereavenent together. 

But it was important to say them together. If you just say maternity leave, you will have a problem on your hands. 

 There will be joy-filled questions with joyful voices. Little squeals of Oooooh! What did you have? A boy or a girl? How’s that baby doing?

 And you’ll choke on your own heart trying to answer them. You’ll step in your own mess of a soul that’s come undone and is just oozing everywhere. 

“we had a girl” you’ll think and you might even say it. . . what did we name her? Ellis Grace. Ellis Grace. Ellis Grace. Ellis Grace. I miss your face. But then you’ll need to switch to past tense. Because they’re gonna ask how she’s doing. And you’re gonna have to find a graceful way to say that “ she died.”

The first time I said it. . . That’s all that came out. The other person was embarrassed and shaken and I spent the rest of the time making them feel better about asking a perfectly normal question that had turned in to an unpredictable dance of shock and woundedness.

Since then I’ve gotten much smoother. I can now say that we have 3 dirty little farmers and a farmgirl in heaven. She lived for 41 days and they were the best 41 days and it’s OK” I have to tell people it is OK. We all know that it’s not really OK. It’s far from OK. And that OK isn’t even a glowing report. . .but more of a “it’s holding together” kind of an answer. 

Because people are sorry. They say I’m sorry.

 They are sorry to hear that. 

They are sorry for your loss.

 They are sorry they asked you about your baby. Your family. How many kids you have.

 Whatever question landed them here to this naked and exposed private part of your heart that you take out in public with you – – wherever you go.

I watched other moms recently back from maternity show off the pictures. Complain about the short supply of sleep. The pain that pumping at work is. I made no attempt to correct their misconception. They had every right to curse the part of their identity that I begged God for. . . 

 Some people avoided me. Some People sought me out to get it over with so that they wouldn’t feel the need to avoid me. Some people acted like I never had a baby at all to avoid the above referenced awkward conversation. And some people asked me how I was doing in an unsure repetitive way – as if looking for another answer besides the complimentary OK that I have learned to dish up on no notice.   

For the record, I am not writing the handbook on what to say or not say. Do or not do. There isn’t one. I did like it when people were happy to see me and glad to see me out trying to do “normal.” Whatever that is. 

 I can only tell you that it is very hard to go back into a world with so many triggers and such tender grief bubbling under the surface. People who do this – myself included – are very brave. There must be no end to the grace we give them. And whatever is happening is OK if we just commit to get through it together.

I didn’t remember things. I had a tremendous problem focusing. I was distracted in meetings. I had days when I cried all day. I had triggers that I couldn’t get through and left seminars to go cry and be terrified in my office. I nearly broke everything in my office every time the baby chimes went off at the hospital – – for a time. I needed lots of bible verses. Lots of breaks. Lots of days when I left early. Lots of days when I came late because I could barely get ready, drive, get out of the car. . . etc. . .

But there was a commitment on everyone’s part that it was all OK and we were going to get through it together. I had come back to work, back from maternity leave, with no baby . But I had not come back alone. I was surrounded by people who were committed to it all being OK and to us all getting through it together. 

 I am still surrounded by the constant reassurance that it’s OK and I’m not alone because we’re all in it together. I’ve been allowed to recover from trauma and keep my job. To have days when I can’t make it work and have to leave early. But I also have a boss who says come back to work tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. Because you know what? IT’s OK. You’re OK. And we’re gonna get through it together. 

This Person

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Dear introverts, I am sorry I haven’t understood you. I had no idea how overwhelming all the people are to you. It’s ok for you to not come, leave early, sit by yourself, and fantasize about killing loud talkers like myself. Your quiet and gentle spirits, the way you can say so much by not saying anything, and your amazing listening skills are such treasured gifts.  

With love&respect, 

The loud talking extroverts

That was my post last year. I only post for those who are recently bereaved. Because I get it. No, I don’t get what you’re going through or know what you feel like  or anything like that nonsense. But I get how uncomfortable you are in places that used to be home. Including your actually home. Because you don’t feel like yourself or look like yourself. You don’t remember things like yourself or tolerate things like yourself. You’ve basically left and when you left yourself , you left this weird alien person in your place.  

This person is often worthless and no help to you. They are completely out of touch and hold your head under a foggy fountain most of the time. This person loses everything, can’t remember anything. Feels irritated by things that you love and feels frustrated with the feeling of love at all. 

You want to be ok but this person thinks ok stands for one knead. And that doesn’t make sense because nothing about this person makes sense to you. 

She can’t sleep, can’t plan things, can’t do math, can’t keep track of anything . She’s forgotten how to do things you are good at. What’s been natural to you your whole life- you don’t know how to start anymore. 

When I was this person full- time, I actually thought I was becoming another person who was terribly introverted even though God made me extroverted from birth. I’m certain I introduced myself to the delivery room and started sharing my feelings right there. 

I didn’t realize that this person was here to help me recover from trauma and that cooking and field trip slips are not necessities when you’ve been traumatized. I didn’t realize I needed a little introvert side to guard my heart in the mine field that just IS public grieving.  

This person has cut back to part time duty and I hope she will one day only work PRN. That’s just when I need her. When she takes over now,  I know I need her healing perspective.  I would try to make myself charge all the time and she gives me permission to rest and retreat. To save it for the times that a charging spirit will be mandatory. 

Sometimes when your daughter lives in heaven, you just can’t say yes to everything you used to. She helps me say No when avoiding is best. And she’s not that crazy screaming lady either. She’s the opposite actually. She’s wise and thoughtful.  She’s insightful. Always calculating the cost. Weighing the energy versus the reward.  

She protects me from myself . That loud mouth extrovert that remains at my core. Because the truth is for me that grief is that great exaggerator. And that’s wonderful in some respects and too much in others. 

So God designed the grief experience to balance us and refine us. When we are complete, we will see what importance this season had on our evolution of Beauty and Grace.  

But we’re not yet complete, we budding masterpieces, so we’ll be tempted to believe that we have even lost  ourselves . But we have not. We’re only getting richer layers and deeper margins. 

We are just as we should be. A work in progress. Me and the many faces of grief. There’s a good chance that Mona Lisa herself was grieving and not even she knew who she was or what she was thinking. 

The Truths of Reconciliation

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Reconciliation Part 1: My Truths 
On February 17th, the Lord blessed our family with His greatest kindness in our daughter, Ellis Grace. We have always felt immeasurably blessed by our sons. But we must admit this little girl filled a place in our heart that we didn’t know existed. Our delight was in her. 💕

On March 28th, her life on earth ended unexpectedly. What was our greatest joy became our deepest sorrow. I spent the next 40 days in a painful disagreement with God. During this time, I was not reconciled to God. I trusted Him. I believed in Him. But because I was not in agreement with His plan for my life- I remained unreconciled to Him. I thank God for His spirit and my tribe and His kindness in gently leading me to finally give Him this rebellious and broken part of my heart. On Thursday May 5th, I , along with most of my tribe, asked God for the miracle of reconciliation and He gave me that which I asked for in faith. These are the important truths that were confirmed to me in the course of that miracle. What is my truth on earth according to the truth of Heaven? 
💕not that Ellis died, but that she came into the full presence of the Lord💐

💕not that her life ended but that her ministry began💐

💕not that I was alone but that I was chosen to be the first to know 💐

💕not that I tried to save her but that Jesus is her Savior💐

💕not that my boys lost their sister but that they found the kindness of God, the miracle of answered prayer, and a true understanding of the value of Human life💐

💕not that she didn’t live long enough for us to know her but that in 41 days we knew her so well💐
These truths are very specific to my loss as a mother but God can give us all the heavenly view of that which we cannot understand from our earthly post.  

Please ask, seek, knock and beg- – because He is Faithful. He has never left you and He knows the way back for you. Wherever you find yourself, He knows the way back.   
All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 

2 Corinthians 5:18
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors , as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf : Be reconciled to God.  

2 Corinthians 5:20
#EG41 #useEllis2tellus

Surrounded

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Truth has become a vital component of my life.  It used to be optional .expendable. Scheduled. Listed. Prioritized. Thought about but not always considered in real time. And there were many things more important than being surrounded in truth. Being on time. Being on point with my preferred grooming routine. TV. Oh it’s hard to believe that TV once trumped truth but it’s true and since I’m surrounded in it. . . 

Truth. A timeless truth untouched by trends or relativism.  What’s been true for very generation since Eve’s. Not my emotions . Not what my circumstances are shouting at me. Something had to be louder than that or I would kill Myself . And my boys need a mother. And that daughter I pine for was pure of heart. She does not want anything marked for kingdom life to die because of her.  And it’s ass backwards but I am her legacy bearer.  Ain’t that something. I thought for sure she would bear mine.  And it often seems like she should. That can all get pretty confusing if you don’t have the TRUTH right on you. 

Wrapped like a blanket. Covered like a mighty mobile fortress. It needs to be everywhere I look . . . Lest I forget for one second who I am.  I wear it, accessorize with it. Listen to it in music form. Post it. Pray it. Send messages  asking people to send it to me. Signs. Jewelry.  What I used to think was the commercialization of something sacred, I now think it a sacred form of modern life saving. 

Truth. It’s a cloak. A shade , a covering. A strong tower. It’s an object of love and mercy from the lover of my soul. It’s the only way I’ll make it – a force field that tells the enemy I’ll be a lot of effort. That tells me ” hey that’s the enemy!”

That’s the best thing about surrounding yourself with the truth. It helps you see untruth a Mile away and then you’re protected from the scam, fake, counterfeit crap that’s not worth your time. 

And you see it because you are Surrounded. The belt of truth goes all the way around you. And it’s in the center of your body. Truth at the core of who you are and truth everywhere you look. That’s how it’s done. That’s how this race is run. 

The word Surrounded means to encircle so as to cut off communication or escape .  And when I am surrounded by truth- lies lose their ability to penetrate me. I’m always in my escape hatch because truth itself is our great escape from anything attempting to ensnare us. 

Grounded. Yes. But it’s not enough. I must be fully surrounded by the swat team of Gods truth. . . My own personal sniper body guard. The truth. Don’t leave home. Get dressed. Or  even watch TV without it.  Stick to the truth so tight that you’re able to tell me what flavor it is when this game is over. It tastes good. Good enough to cover yourself in. 

Leading Worship Lost at Sea

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I had a great morning. I enjoyed my husband with canoodling and flirting. Laughing.  And I enjoyed it so much that I sailed into Sunday service. Just in time. I joyfully walked up on stage to worship my great and glorious God. And then I turned around . And it happened. 

The presence of the lies and the feeling of a cruel forsakeness that is hard to describe. Among the crowd of people staring back at me, ( they’re not really staring back at me but it feels that way if you lead worship sometimes) . Among the crowd of disciples are most of the  women I was pregnant with. They are holding their babies or closely monitoring their toddlers. 

And then there’s me. And that screaming woman inside of me. She wants to know where our baby is- why we’re the only ones without the typical prize to show for a pregnancy. Why we only need a bible and not a diaper bag and nursing cover and the like.  Why this happened to us.  

Of course my big furry protector Aslan has told me we are not to ask if and why but only to trust His what is. . . But the screaming lady inside me doesn’t get that. 

It overcomes me. The sheer horror of the reality of this again. But it overcomes me when I’m supposed to be leading worship looking like I have my act together. It takes me down with eyes on me and a microphone in my face. 

And it makes me feel like a failure. A misfit. Someone who needs to ” give it up.” As they say.  For me, worship is never about performance until you cannot perform well. Well then you’re not worthy .  The whole thing feels like a terrible battle instead the mountain top experience I had planned on.  

And I pretty much run out of the church. I don’t want to be seen and known like this. My mascara is a river that’s collected on my neck. War paint is gone along with my ability to fight. So I surrender. But not to my enemy. To My God. 

He has His reasons for His plans. And I have my reasons for trusting Him. 

He only asks that I go back in this morning. I Get a quick truth check from the tribe. Touch up the war paint. Straighten my crown and return head held high. 

I don’t know who is aware of the battle this was and who is not. Did they see me shake? It Doesn’t matter.  I return for my King and not His crowd. I will keep following even if it leads to at times to a hot place of embarsssment. 

And so we’ll keep dancing. Publicly. Privately. Peacefully and in times of great battle. Because no matter how consistently I am a hot mess, I am His. 

I. Am. His. 

Oklahoma Sky

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I had planned to bring Ellis to Oklahoma and show her many things. It was to be a joke between the two of us kind of like JoJos belief in Dillard’s. Need a prom dress? We better go to Oklahoma. Want to go to women of faith? I bet it’d be better in Oklahoma. God made sure that most of my Ellis dreams were realized and that is why we did find ourselves in Oklahoma to lay my grandpa to rest. It was early in my pregnancy but I could feel her joy. And she could feel mine.  

I recently gave my testimony through Dance telling the story of Ellis’ departure to heaven. It was no accident we danced to the song Oklahoma Sky. We will indeed dance on the red dirt of the new earth.  Together. In dazzling brilliance. She’ll twirl in celestial dresses on prairie scapes.  We’ll run around lake Hefner. We’ll admire the view from Mt. Scott. We’ll tour the heaven version of the Marland Mansion.  Eat Teds Mexican food with Jesus and have cattlemen’ s coconut pie  with Paul. Have boomerang milkshakes with rahab. Braums with JoJo. Johnnies burgers with daddy and Job. Shoot baskets with Eddie Sutton and tell jokes with Will Rogers. My grandpa messer will show up for that meeting and say “tell him the one about the alligator driving the car.”  I must stop because it never gets old joining Ellis in heaven in my mind.  But last year at this time I was still releasing her from this old earth. Truth be told I still have times I have to work very hard to release my grip on Ellis Grace.  Now I don’t hold her back at all with my clenched fists. She soars and glides regardless of her mothers heart condition or trust level. But I could certainly hinder my own great race by rejecting surrender and short changing trust.  So a year ago I was in red dirt country without her for the first time. It was hard but I was made for hard and holy things. And continuing to walk with God when you don’t walk with a dream of your heart any longer is a Hard and Holy thing. God knows this and is greatly honored by each of my struggles to stay with Him. 

Red Dirt and Rolling Storms. . . May 27, 2017
Yesterday I walked a stretch of red dirt road and for the first time it felt foreign and cruel to me. I longed for what I thought would be. And the “what is” had me feeling forsaken at the worst and bewildered at the best . . . I longed to bring her to a part of the earth that has always felt like home to me. We were gonna tear up some red dirt together. . . She and I . . . Me and her. . . EG and her momma.  

And I started sinking fast and the winds started blowing hard and I could barely get a gulp of air before being covered by the next wave.

I thought about the truth and tried to set my mind to meditate on it. I called for prayer. I gave into it. Indulged it. I tried to change my activity. . . My surroundings. . . My mind set. It passed– – as it always does. And He felt far from me the whole time. And the storms raged in the sky as they rolled through my heart. . . 
This morning I ran that same stretch of road with a breeze in my hair- – with a softness in my spirit- – with a release of my wishes leaving an opening to receive another piece of “what is.”  

It’s the same road. . . Same God. He feels close the whole time. What’s changed?
The sun, the wind, the depth of the earth soaking up the storm. He is there in the storm too. He is working in it. He is working on parts of my heart that need to be refined. . . Healed. . . Changed. He can stop the storm at any time. So the truth is if there’s a storm in my heart, it’s because He’s
doing something. I may not like it but I can trust it. And as sure as the sun rises every morning, so is every storm calmed. 

In His Time. Let Him work. Let the storm blow debris to a place of clearing. My shelter will stay. I am guaranteed to weather it all. In God, there are no storms of mass destruction- – but of master construction of His Greatest works. Let Him Work. He does His best work in the storm.  
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. Nahum 1:7
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Matthew 8:26
#EG41

Once Upon a Testimony

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Survivors don’t get to choose their story but they should get to choose if, when, how, and to whom their story is told. . . This much should remain in their keeping- – as so many other things were taken without their consent. For power is gained in the victory of releasing this truth with dignity. And there is no dignity in exposing a soul against its will.  

This was my response to the news leak of the reports of the Dugger girls being molested by their older brother.  That’s all the old me had to say about it. Now here I am, new me, reading it in Facebook memories and trying to support old me in leaving it there.  I’ve always had a voice. The weaving of words is not a new craft for me. It is me.  So old me certainly had the ability to say more. 

But she chose not to. She made that choice because she didn’t believe her unique life experiences formed a point of view that needed to be voiced. 

Having a voice and having something that needs to be said are two different things. And old me- – well She only had one of those things. And new me has no fear. 

How can I say they when I openly admit that triggers, post traumatic stress, and the like continue to be part of my humanity?  I say that because the worst thing I ever thought could happen to me. . . It happened. The reason we “check on” perfectly peaceful babies.  And then become washed in the relief that they are just sleeping.  That sudden, silent phenomenon slipped into my bedroom and left me with nothing to fear. 

Will people think it was my fault? That I am making more if it than what it was? That because I was not raped or physically hurt I should not speak of it? Will they think I’m taking someone else’s tragedy and making it about mine? Will they see me as different , less than. . . Permanently reduced in their minds to the object I was for a time?  

I truly do not care because I truly do not fear. God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

When a spirit of fear is upon me, I know it was delivered by enemy and that he will be beat severely by my God. I can’t even say God help Him because He won’t. He will only help me come back to power and a sound mind because I know where my help comes from. 

Where does my help come from? 

I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2

So without fear or apology I declare for the masses that I was molested by an older male in Kindergarten and first grade.  My first sexual experience happened before I knew what sex was and it clouded my heart identity with shame and weight too heavy to bear. And God was good and He was there.  And He was both those things even though sin was there and it is as bad as God is good.  God was there because I am His child and He attaches Himself to all that I am. He rejoices over the parts of my heart that are like His. He sees the ugly, dark parts and because He can have no fellowship with darkness- He covers them with the light of Christ.  

But did He allow me to be wounded and molested at a tender age? And if so, is that a God I want to get behind?

 Yes . 

.And Yes.  

God values real relationship with us over controlling us.  So even though He could have overtaken the hand of My molester, he chose not to. God is so very good that His goodness is exercised and revealed even in the “bad” things that come to His children by way of Sin.  There is no “wrong”  in my life that has not been made right in Christ. If I use my freedom to choose to accept and receive that, then I am untouchable by this  ill willed world. 

Because of this, I  can thank God for the blessings that came with being molested. And I can be released from the curse that it was as well. 

I am thankful that God uses this to carve out special sacred places In ministry for me. I am thankful for the intimacy I have had with Him since a very young age. It is no accident that my closeness with God was real to me at the same time as my sexual abuse. For He was very close to me at that time.   I am thankful He has trusted me to help his other daughters retire their titles of victim and survivor, but rather to walk into the ring as victor and thriver! 

I am thankful that He has shown me my true identity because of Who He Is. The  great I AM. 

For I am all the things He is making me to be. And He’s using all my life experiences- the exhilarating and the painful – to craft a masterpiece.  

And so it is without fear or regret that I say. . . 

Once upon a time there was a beautiful little God girl who was violated and scared. She felt shame-filled and different. But God knew that she was different because she was wonderfully and fearfully made by Him. There was a scary mean enemy who broke down a young man to trespass into territory only meant for her purity.  (Because hurt people, HURT people). But what the enemy intended for evil, God uses for good. And as This great, kind loving God walked with Her- – He taught her what her true worth was. That a man who had never harmed a creature, gave His life for hers. And she was worth His most precious blood. That all those drops of blood formed a spectacular invisible crown that made her free instead of fearful . And blessed instead of cursed. She grew and grew in strength and grace and dignity taking more and more territory in the glorious magical kingdom.  She would  continue learning to rule in love on earth as she will one day rule in Heaven. 

Nowhere Near the End 

Harder Still

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I recently posted a blog entitled “Easier.” I was excited that some things seemed easier. I was excited that some events were less sad and I was relieved that maybe I wouldn’t hurt this bad forever. Because a few events had been easier, I assumed most if not all events would be from here on out.

 Of course I would think that. Want that. 

 Better. 

Easier. 

Happier. 

Or at least less sad. 

Yes. More of that please. 

 More is coming. Now I don’t doubt that more of that is coming. I believe it with all of my heart. But I can’t leave that “easier” post out there.

 Because right after I posted, something I had already done was very hard. It was as hard as it was the first time I did it. It was as hard as anything has ever been since she moved to heaven.
And I have absolutely no explanation for it. Why would my 3 year old’s birthday be harder than his two year old birthday was? Why would I cry harder this year when guests left than I did last year? Last year it was the first family celebration without the whole family. 

 The first family celebration since she. . . died. . . I mean went away. . . I mean moved to heaven unexpectedly. . . since I was shattered. . . gutted. . . crucified. . . poured out. . . traumatized. . . left. . . since our family had been downgraded to a table of 5 rather than 6. . . to all boys again. . . instead of three dirty little farmers and a princess. . . to this painfully incomplete group of people who are ALWAYS missing something. . . who always feel that something is not quite right. . . the energy is not quite balanced. . .and the full house is just a bit emptier than it should be. . .

Oh I have theories as to why. Perhaps it was because this is the first time we had really hosted a family celebration in our house since loss came to live here. Or perhaps seeing my friend’s toddler girl playing in the yard I will never see my daughter play in – – perhaps those two things stirred the pools of sadness from which deep grief sprang forth.

But the truth is . . . the real answer is. . . this is grief. It’s the price of how deeply you loved. And you never know when the piper will show up and demand his fee for your child. The child you won’t get back or watch grow or ever make a birthday cake for. The one who knows what your heart sounds like from the inside and who shared your body as her home. The one who was your sister soul mate. Still is but set in crystal dreams now. You thought  you were done waiting on her but it turns out that living and waiting have become the same thing.

Easier. Better. Stronger. Happier.

 These feel good. 

 They feel like me. 

 That old me before this one grew where I used to live. 

 But the truth is that Hard.  Worse. Weak. Sad. They don’t mean I’m not OK. Not healing. Not restored. They mean I am still in love with Ellis Grace. So I shouldn’t be surprised when they roost or relieved when they fly away. Although I know very well that I will be both. Surprised and Relieved.

But I shouldn’t be.

I should expect to be all of those things for a very long time. Like as long as I live and have breath. 

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6

The Chair

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In January, we threw a lovely vintage tea party themed shower for my niece. Everything was so perfect except for one missing component! There was no worthy place of honor for her to sit. In my mind, a folding chair just would not do.  

She needed a place to sit that was girly and cushioned and regal. Something to surround her that would tell her she was loved and that she was lovely. 

I scavenged through my mind of the chairs available to me with nothing being deemed quite right. And then I saw it in the store front side of the venue for the shower. The Chair. A mixed floral parlor chair with coordinated stripes trimmed in a garland of sparkles and pastel Pom poms. The chair’s floral pattern prominently displayed big pink roses. I had just ordered vintage rose bedding for my daughter’s nursery. The chair even spins like a little girl twirling in a new dress. It was the perfect throne for our purpose. I lovingly placed the chair back in the store after the shower. And never thought of it again until the planning meeting for my newborn daughter’s funeral.  

“Is there anything else you will need ?” My sister Ange asked. There was a long pause before I choked out the words, ” I will need a place. . . Where I can go. . . To get away . . . Or breathe. . . “. I didn’t even know what I would need to do but I was sure I needed a retreat – – a private place for rest or to take on a wave of sorrow I couldn’t manage gracefully. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was weak and this place should have a comfortable chair.  

Our church has folding chairs and worship chairs but nothing comforting in the way of a sitting chair. A rocking chair was suggested and the thought of rocking with painfully empty arms made me grow cold and nauseous. I said , “No. It can’t be a rocking chair.” It was one of the only things I was able to say firmly that week. 

And a whisper of a memory flew in my heart and I said ” you know that chair from the shower?”  

Yes! The room filled with hopeful agreement. That chair! That chair was the perfect chair for a mother of a princess to beg God for enough strength and grace to keep going. . . To somehow feel loved and lovely and close to her daughter at the same time. However, 

That chair had been sold. That chair was gone. 
But do you know what God did for me? He called a shop owner to call a customer to request a borrowing of a piece of furniture that had already been perfectly placed in that customers home.  

When I heard the chair was on loan to me for my hour of need, it touched my heart. This chair felt like love to me.  

But when I was told that the chair was mine to keep forever. Well then the chair felt like Jesus to me. You see He knew that I would continue to need a place long after the day I buried her. He knew that there would empty holes in my home where cribs and swings used to be. And so He provided a place for me. A chair. But not just any chair. That chair . . . The chair I admired with Ellis and sat in with her before she was born. . . He’s that Good. His people are that kind and generous . . . and I am that Loved. Love so Amazing. I’m sitting in my chair now just marveling at it💕💐💕
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

 

God has told his people, “Here is a place of rest; let the weary rest here. This is a place of quiet rest. . . ” Isaiah 28:12

#EG41 #useEllis2tellus