One Breath at a Time

It’s been a tough week. My childhood has come swirling around me in the midst of it.

I had a conversation this week about mental illness and depression and it’s made me dive. It’s made me reflect on my life. It’s made me wonder why, of the two families my family was closest with when we were little, both of them have now lost one of their four children, and both of the women of the family are now alone. Beautiful, Godly women, with beautiful children, all younger than me. I loved those children like they were my own babies, back when they were babies. One lost to a tragic accident at the age of 24 and one lost to a terrible disease at the age of 33; the same disease that claimed her dad thirteen years ago. She leaves behind a husband and two young children and a family full of people that will miss her every single day for the rest of their lives. Life hurts like hell sometimes.

My work is so stressful some days that I honestly don’t know how to go on. Sometimes I can’t go on, pure and simple, and I lay my head down on my desk and quit for two minutes. I’ve decided that my job title should be “stress eater” because that’s what I do. Everything that has the possibility of causing stress to another is immediately passed on to me. I open my mouth and I eat the stress and I handle the stress and I flounder in the stress so that others can have less stress. The problem is that while I may appear to be pretty good at handling all of that, I end up with a belly full of stress that sits there like a lump of concrete. And it’s been weighing me down lately. I need somebody to come eat my stress.

But today, while I sat at my desk, inhaling all that stress, I listened to two of my girls as they made invitations to the bachelorette party that they are planning for the other one of my girls. They thought through how many people might come and how long they might stand around talking before sitting down to eat and how much the food might cost and what people might wear and how the invitation should be worded. It ate some of my stress away to listen to their youthful joy and their love for one another and their excitement in planning this special event for their sister and her friends.

And when the clock said it was time to quit work, I shut off my screen, put on a tank top and flip flops and went to the beach with my husband. We watched our shadows spreading silently before us as we walked. When we decided we’d gone far enough, we sat in the warm sand and let the wind blow our hair and we watched the crashing waves for a bit. And then we walked back while the birds padded through the retreating water beside us, looking for wiggly things to eat.

Stress is wiggly. I think the birds ate some of mine.

My heart breaks for the family of my young friend tonight. I watched her grow up and I worked in Mexico with her and her family. Her dad was my dad’s closest friend and my husband’s mentor in the ministry and her mom was a mentor in so many ways to me as I raised my own young children. I haven’t seen her since she graduated college and I never even met her husband or children. My heart breaks for the life that has been lost. My heart breaks for my own life that is fleeting away and the lives of all those who have floated in and out through the fleetingness and the years that sometimes feel wasted. Death hurts like hell.

I lay on my couch in my house in the woods and I look up through the window at the night sky. The sound of the frogs float in through the screen, along with the scents of the wildflowers. The tall pines are silhouetted against the deep navy blue sky while the stars twinkle through their swaying branches. It’s amazing, this life, this world, this love that knows no bounds. Sometimes it fills me with joy to the point of bursting.

I know my Redeemer lives. I know there is beauty in the midst of this suffering. When I find the beauty (and it’s not hard when I open my eyes), I try to breathe it in and exhale the stress. One breath at a time.

The Harrowing of Hell

The Blessing of our Home


















O God, heavenly Father, we acknowledge that you are Lord of heaven and earth. Protect our going out and our coming in. As your children, dear Father, and in the strong name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, we ask your blessing on this entry way. Grant by the power of your Holy spirit and the prayers of your saints, the banishment of demons, the renunciation of all curses, and the entrance of your angels. May the hospitality of this home be shared with all who visit, that those who enter here may know your love and peace. Grant this through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord. Amen.













Life As I Know It

I’m tan for the first time in my life. Some people might not know it but I know it. I don’t even recognize the skin on my arms. I will probably get used to that someday and not even notice, but for now I am enjoying noticing my new skin. Sometimes I don’t know who that is in the mirror.

Speaking of looking in the mirror, I’m battling the urge to keep dyeing my hair as it keeps getting grayer. I’m mostly losing the battle though and giving in to the urge. But it seems like the gray is coming faster these days, like I’m the president of the United States. Maybe that says something about the stress I’ve been under with all of the changes this year. I make appointments and then I cancel them and then I buy stuff at the store and do it myself and I don’t know if anybody can even tell or if I even care. I’m trying not to care. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m planning a wedding for my Sadie that I love so much. My Sadie that used to walk around with her baby dolls all day long, holding them, singing to them, gently rocking them to sleep. It’s suddenly becoming easy to picture her doing that someday soon with her real babies. How can this be? One would think that planning a wedding for the second daughter would be easier than it was the first time around since I now know how to do everything. HAHAHAHA. I’m coming to find out that nothing is ever easy. Ever.

Speaking of babies, my Callie that I love so much has my first grandbaby growing away inside of her. She is as cute as she can be, and even though I haven’t seen him yet, I’m convinced that he is the cutest baby in the history of the world. I can’t wait to meet that little guy.

We have now lived in four houses since last July. As stressful as that may be, and as gray as it may have made my hair, and as sick as I am of packing up and moving and unpacking, I can’t tell you how much I love this house. I know I said that about my last house too, but THIS HOUSE. Oh my goodness, this house. It’s the peace I’ve been longing for. I don’t even want to leave it ever. I work at my desk all day and then I do all the house stuff after work and I read and I sit on my deck in the sun and I listen to music while I hang pictures and unpack boxes and I sometimes go four or five days without ever leaving and I don’t even want to. I haven’t yet gotten stir crazy here and I don’t know if I ever will. If you’d like to come rest with me in my little haven in the woods, come on. It’s only an eight minute drive to the beach too, so when I do leave, you know where I’m going.

Speaking of my deck, we enjoyed a pretty fierce game of… something… the other day. My Grace that I love so much kept us laughing with her misuse of the English language, and her misguided sense of rhythm as she danced to songs she made up on the spot, and her misplaced competitiveness in a fierce game of…something…There was no winner because the rules kept changing. My two girls along with Sadie’s two sisters-to-be played whatever it was with all their hearts though. It was pretty awesome.

Speaking of awesome, I am finding myself thanking God with all my heart lately. Things may not be the easiest, (and they may not ever be) but this is a good place to be and my heart knows it.