Broken Open-Hearted Love

Yesterday I learned that a dear friend is dying.  There is no time to visit.  No time to wrap up loose ends.  This news just rips it all back open–that wound that I thought was nearly healed.  The blow from my fall where I realized that death is actually a part of the human story….

Embracing This Breath

The perfect beauty of this morning actually hurts me.  As I steal a quiet hour in my little garden with a cup of coffee, the world saturated in green, trees in bloom, birdsong, the first signs of new life coming up in my raised beds… My heart aches.  The unabashed brilliance of life.  It stings….

Hope and Miracles

What in the world is even happening?  I find myself sifting through the media, shaking my head in wonder at all the different perspectives that claim to be true.  I read statistics from experts in every field, see photographs that prove the arguments without a doubt, absorb the shocking headlines.  I hear yelling from every…

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…

Singing Out a Baby, the Birth Story of Rune O’Carolan Chester

“I am walking into this labor differently than I ever have before.  I am walking into it with a spirit of fight.  Not just trying to keep my peace, not just trying to stay calm, not just surviving and getting to the other side.  I am walking into this labor with the desire to put…

The Poetry of This Morning (On the Day Before My Due Date)

The poetry of this particular morning is not lost on me.  May 15.  The day before my due date.  I woke early this morning after a night of mild, sporadic contractions, wondering if today will be the day that we will meet our son.  It could happen at any moment.  The waves of contractions reminded…

Brave (or What Strangers Call Me in the Grocery Store)

Sometimes people don’t know what to say. When they see us in the grocery store–three little ones in the buggy, three bigger ones swarming around my waist–I can actually see them doing math in their heads.  Is it possible that all of these children could belong to the same mother? I get a lot of…

Waiting on Azalea Jane, a birth story

I am writing this weeks after Azalea was born, and it reminds me of the way you feel the next morning after waking up from a nightmare.  In the middle of the night, a dream can feel so terrifying.  Your heart is pounding.  You felt that it was so real.  The next morning, when you…

The Best Day of My Life

Tomorrow is my due date.  I can hardly believe that in a few short hours or days, the secret face of this child will be revealed, and we will be holding her in our arms.  God has done a huge miracle in my life to make me brave for this day.  I wrote in my…

Living by Faith

About a month ago, we found out that I am expecting again. This will be five children in 7 years. (I’m sure many of you reading this are having a gut reaction.) It means that I have been pregnant or nursing now nonstop since early 2007. It is a lot to take in. It is…

The Daily Turn #18: {The Song of My Daughter}

The woman who scanned my groceries in the checkout line felt compelled to tell me (in the two minutes that she held my undivided attention) that she would never bring children into this world. She had watched the news too much, and it was only going to get worse. I wouldn’t want my kids to…