My Beautiful Dying Mother, A Birth Story

Mama had nine children.  I am the youngest, and I have often felt a deep sense of gratitude that she surrendered her life to this process so many times.  I see it as no small miracle that I even exist in the world.  And that my seven children exist. Mama was always the first person…

Standing in the Hallway of Sorrow, thoughts on losing my Mother

(In honor of my beautiful, selfless Mother who went home to be with Jesus yesterday afternoon, hours after I wrote this post.) I am going to write something that is braver and stronger than I now feel, but I believe it with all my heart. Daddy met Mama on a Sunday morning at a little…

Voices of My Life, an abridged biography

It’s easy to look back over years as a series of big events–the day I was born, schools I attended, graduations, marriage, jobs held, the birthdays of my children…  These are the visible rings around my tree, the important details in a brief biography of my life. But when I close my eyes and let…

Thoughts on My Mother and the Miracle of Existing in this World

My Mama had nine children.  I am the youngest.  The fact that I exist in this world at all is not a small miracle.  I see it all now, like the iconic scene in It’s a Wonderful Life, where Mary is closing up the library.  A world where I don’t exist.  My husband is scorching…

Embrace the Mess, A Letter to My Future Self

This letter is to my future self. One day, when you are storming around your messy life as a mother of many small children, scowling at spilled crayons and upturned buckets of legos, haunted by the ghost of clean kitchens past…  When you reach the point, clocking in late for laundry after a long day…

Marking a Season

I miscarried nine days before our 15th anniversary. There we sat, across the table at a little cafe, drinking coffee together.  Our six living children were home with a friend who gave us the day together to celebrate our marriage. The week before, Randy and I had privately laid the whisper of a body down…

On Words (In every storm, mercy…)

Words are a comfort to me.  They press in around me while I am lying awake in bed.  I can feel the word mercy wrap me up like a weighted blanket.  I have heard the heavy clank and felt the ground shake under the weight of that word as it anchored my soul to the…

Joy and Sorrow (How Does Your Garden Grow)

It still hits me in waves. Not like it did last spring.  When my little garden was blooming and sheets of rain came down steadily day after day.  I drank tea in the music room and looked out over the mint and the marigolds and all the beautiful shimmering living things growing there in the…

The Sacred Everyday

This morning I woke up to a miracle. All of my children are still soundly sleeping in their beds, except for the baby, who came down early to snuggle.  Her head is fuzzy and soft like a little duck.  The house is dark.  And quiet.  There is no birdsong yet.  The hum of thought in…

Looking for a House and Finding Home

I have opened my heart up to want this year. One day in early January, I woke up with the clear vision that this house is never going to be ideal for our family.  And I began to want something better. When we bought this brand-new 2-bedroom, 2 bathroom house as nearly newly-weds, we saw…

Are You Going to Have More?

People are always asking me if we are going to have more children.  The tiniest bit of smalltalk can tease this question out of a complete and utter stranger.  We go from eye contact, to a silent head count of my six kids, to are all these yours and are you going to have more……

A Little Life Remembered

Mis-Carry.  I don’t like this word.  It implies that I carried this baby differently.  But I didn’t.  My womb had an open door, the baby came in, and I accepted the life with the same fear and trembling, the same joy and wonder, the same gentle reminder that God is the creator and sustainer of…