Jul 072016
 

They are just trying to build their lives, build their family, have children together alongside the ones that she brought into the relationship all those years ago. And while we aren’t close, at all, maybe seen each other a half dozen times since we were little kids playing cops and robbers with toy handcuffs, my heart is still broken for him, my cousin, yet again. He has had a rough few years.

He was in a plane crash that he narrowly survived a few years back, on that day I was complaining to my mom that everything smelled like fuel, she said I was crazy until the email came saying his plane had went down and that an old boyfriend of my aunts, from 30 years ago, had saw the rainbow on a small lake of fuel and being the nosey man he is he swooped down to get a closer look only to see part of a pontoon sticking out of the water with a body on it, my cousins body. The family friend, Jake, was in a plane too large to land and my aunt and uncle were on the radio trying to find their son when Jake called for someone with a small plane for help. Some American tourists with a small plane were able to make the landing in that tiny remote lake and help my cousin off that pontoon into their plane and back into the sky to meet the ambulance at the docks. His neck was broken, his thumbs nearly amputated from trying to pull the plane up when he crashed and chemical burns from him laying partly in the water with all that fuel and oil pouring out and burning his flesh away. Praise God his neck was able to be fixed and he didn’t suffer any paralysis or anything like that. A lot of healing though and it’s been probably five years and he still hasn’t got his pilots licence back, his thumbs have been the biggest problem.

Since then he has went on and continued with the woman who stood by him during all of that healing, and all the years before that, and they had a baby girl, named Aurora. Only, Aurora was born directly into the hands of God. They were trying to build a family and God is building Himself an army of angels. It was close to the due date for little Aurora when the placenta broke free and before they could get to a hospital the baby had passed and the mama almost did too.


Now its been a few more years since that happened and I had a vivid dream about a caesarean going very wrong. When I went to tell my mom about the dream she was reading an email saying Aurora’s little sister was also in Heaven. I didn’t even know they were expecting another baby, I guess when you have experienced the pain of losing one you might want to be hushed about another just in case. They had a scheduled c-section planned and their little girl whose name I don’t know, was moving fine and had no reason for concern, but when they arrived for their c-section they couldn’t find a heartbeat. They did an emergency delivery and couldn’t revive the baby. And another little soul was born right into the arms of God.

My cousin though? In his building a family and a career as a pilot and all of that feels like the world just keeps knocking him out of the sky and while I sit here and cry over a baby I didn’t even know existed until the other day when she was already gone he is struggling with drinking and drugs and finding any way he can to dull the pain of living, and living comes with a lot of pain.


And somehow my vivid dreams have always mimicked life. I have been accused of killing because I dreamed it, the first time at the age of 9 when my cousin took his life in our back yard, found splayed after three days missing, at the bottom of a cliff. I was blamed because I had said he was going to die about 3 months earlier when he had crashed a truck after my great uncles funeral, and that blame has never left me.

So when my cousin crashed his plane and I was being haunted by the odor of fuel and couldn’t figure out why until I got the news I felt like had I not smelled that smell that he would still be flying.

My dream the other afternoon during a nap about a caesarean gone wrong left me feeling like if I hadn’t fallen asleep, she would have been born safe and healthy and alive.

My sanity is lost and I have no clue where to search, and I don’t think I want to, because like I said, life hurts, especially when you blame yourself for things out of your control based solely on the fact that someone decided to place the blame on you when you were a child instead of accepting responsibility for their own child.

I have been a mess, I am a mess. I don’t know if I am coming or going and I have pulled into myself, far in because exposing the flesh wounds leaves me open to judgement and battle scars and frankly, I don’t have enough unscarred flesh left to successfully go to battle again.

So maybe I am throwing in the towel, or maybe it’s like the Mr. says and that I am not the cause of the problems, I just feel them and see them in a way that most people can’t. It’s hard to say, but I don’t know if I want to risk it. I don’t know if I want to get close to anyone or anything if all that I am going to experience is a painful hurt and a loss.

You see, you can build up walls instead of bridges to peace and you can be isolated and alone or you can build that bridge and put yourself in the cross hairs of the man with a fully automatic weapon. Maybe Trump is right with his wall. Maybe isolation is the best way to protect yourself, your body, your soul, your heart. Maybe if we all place that figurative wall around us the billions of emotions flying through the air won’t hit so hard, or at all. Maybe they will bounce off my imaginative force-field and leave me alone.

Alone with my thoughts, my anger, my depression, my sadness and hurt. Alone to wonder and hope and to pray and to hide. Alone to not love because if I embrace the olive branch then I am guaranteed that new pain will eventually follow.

Maybe some of us should be alone, because loneliness is what’s best for everyone.

Jul 032016
 

It’s almost midnight when I am writing this, but letter late than never. I have to say today was a fairly big flop. I woke up this morning in pain and ended up going back to sleep after taking some meds for that. I was up again at 1 for more meds and then slept until almost 5.

In the meantime while I was out like a light, my dad was cleaning the carpet in my daughters room. She has allowed her dog to pee on it so much that her room stinks, seriously stinks.

Tonight, we had a simple dinner, spaghetti and garlic bread. The weather was grey and rainy and the humidity was a lot higher than it was yesterday. I got the table and chairs all wiped down and dishes done. Definitely not an epic day.

Had the dogs out and fed at around 8 tonight and then I went to shut the tv off in the room my daughter was sleeping in to find that the brand new mattress she had borrowed had been peed through by her dog, and of course she denied it despite her having slept on the couch the last several nights, using laziness as an excuse.

I can definitely say I am extremely disappointed in her for that one. Had she been honest about it the mattress wouldn’t now be ruined and yet another thing wouldn’t be going to the landfill, and my wallet wouldn’t be taking a hit to get rid of it or to replace it, but it is.

The sad thing is that I know her dog is not very well mannered, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is the need to lie and hide this type of stuff. It kills any trust I had and it feels like just when we begin to get to an okay place lies pile on and we end up back in this place where I don’t trust her or believe her, and that sucks, it REALLY sucks to not trust your child, especially with things that are seemingly so basic.

I picked up the dishes in my room after that and washed those up and added the new things that had piled in the sink to the dishwasher.

I have been in bed most of the day and now that it’s midnight I am guessing I won’t be getting anything more done.



It was nice having dinner with the family, nice that it was Canada day on Friday and my brother has been able to come for dinner the last three nights in a row, awesome that we were able to grill out for two days and awesome that some of the stuff needing to get done has been completed.

Definitely hoping tomorrow is a better day and that I can get my pain under some sort of control and get things done around here. I am also excited to check on the tomato plants, they were blooming like crazy yesterday but I didn’t take the chance to go and see them today to know if they are showing signs of fruit!

Also, fresh strawberries are amazing and it is really awesome to be able to pluck them off the plant and eat them knowing that while they may have dirt there are absolutely no chemicals on them or used to help them produce.

I am always amazed by how God provides, and yet He never lets me down!

Jun 252016
 

Tears are the pain my soul displays when it has nowhere else to go

Pain are the words my soul speaks, the black shroud that makes the dimmest of stars blindingly bright

I’ve needed a rest from words lately. A lot of rest. I don’t know why, maybe because I was diving deep in search of words for so much of the winter and spring.

It is exhausting to go into yourself, into the darkened depths where you have everything chaotically stashed away in mounds that would give a librarian a heart attack. Much like the wall of post-it notes that only an author can decipher and turn into a grand story.

Only life isn’t a post-it and no matter how big they decide to make those sticky sheets it won’t all fit and the darkness will creep over like fog over a marsh when the mercury rises, blanketing over the muck with a reflective dew that disappears with the rising sun and somewhere along the broken road you place your hand in the palm of the Son who has risen and you simply rest.


And yet here I am with the thunder booming in the background and the lightening flashing down on a blackened earth and my fingers are tapping away the thoughts that linger in my head and fear greets me in places I had forgot existed and I wonder who I really am?

Am I the child that hopped from rock to rock over snail infested ponds to find a place to sit and soak up the sun, the child who looked at metal barrels laying in the water 20 years ago and wondered why someone would do that to the earth?

Am I the adult who see’s a saltwater tank and grieves the loss of corals and anemones and secretly blames Finding Nemo for the tang’s and clown fish being stolen from our oceans just to beautify someone’s home?

Am I the girl who prays for the whales and the dolphins and has considered jumping ship just to land in the Antarctic whale sanctuary to protest, protect and fight for the whales whose song often falls on the ears of poachers?

Am I the 16-year-old girl who found herself pregnant and madly in love with a child growing within or am I the mother of that child whose smile is enough to light up any room and whose tears threaten to drown me because her pain are the nails through my hands and feet, the spear in my side. The pain a parent must bare in a twisted way so that their child can be fully alive?

Is that how my parents felt? Is that what Jesus told Himself as He felt the weight of His flesh tearing him apart, the sweat stinging into deepened wounds as the sins of the world separated the darkness and the light causing Him to cry out to God, “Father, why have You forsaken me?” before the sky turned angry and His flesh became Spirit?

And then there is my son, the child who nearly drowned drinking water because his laughter got the best of him and the water rushed into his lungs and sent those watching into a near panic and as he told the story he tells me “I wondered if Darin knew the Heimlich, when he pushed on my belly I knew he didn’t.” And I wonder why I worry more about the girl then I do my boy. Is that how it’s meant to be? That the boys can brave this broken world in a brotherly solidarity where the desire to protect outweighs their fear?



A world where your lungs fill with water and moments later you are playing football in the grass with a fire burning down in the background and your laughter and the sounds of your mother and your sister chatting are what fills your world because the moment you drowned you were also resurrected with a lesson learned?

Did my child really have me in stitches on the clouded, stormy ride home and did we almost hit that blur of a deer that for all I know could have been a golden shrub? Did he really just tell me that 50,000 of my cells die every day and that over the course of 7 years every cell in my body passes and has been replaced with one that is new and fresh? Did he just tell me that a sunburn hurts because the cells are protecting us from cancer and committing suicide so they don’t mutate?

How did you become so wise young children? Where did you learn these things and when? Why is it that I see so much of myself in your love for everything and then sometimes I look at you and don’t see me at all?


I am proud of you, both of you. Because you aren’t me and because you are pieces of me that I never allowed to develop and grow. You take big leaps and tiny steps and go where the wind blows, color outside of the lines and walk against the grain all at the same time. You are far more brave than I ever was or ever will be and I am so happy that you aren’t me. That you walk your own paths.

I love that you embrace conflict and hurt and pain because as the saying goes “no pain no gain” and I want you to gain. I want to see you suffer because that leads to growth. I want you to fear because that leads you to cling to the One who alleviates the need. I want you to love fully and be passionate and chase your calling, whatever it may be, whether it’s the Antarctic whale sanctuary where you take on the poachers of the world, or into a mission field learning a new culture and language and sharing your own journey with the world in the name of the One who saves you each and every day. Maybe your dream is to be a mom or a dad and never leave this small town and you want to plant your roots down deep and firm.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, I will be in the cheering section while simultaneously handing you to God, because while this may be your journey, He is the one who holds the map.

Apr 212016
 

We stood there in the hallway choking back tears after she had been hitting refresh for hours on end trying to find out what had happened and how, she reached for me for the first time in years, her 13 year old self, and I reached my arms around her and hers slid around me and in a single moment we became a part of the same club, united under the worst circumstances, our hearts shredded by death -suicide. Her best friend from a year ago gone, just like that and I had no way to console her broken heart outside of that embrace.

I understand it all to well though, growing up here I have been to some 30 funerals, a large majority because of suicide, and I have attempted it myself, on more than one occasion, seeing it as the only way out, to escape the pain of the day.

My throat grew tight like my allergies were acting up as we stood there in what seemed to be forever while not long enough. I didn’t want to let my sweet girl go because I just wanted to console her, to tell her it was all going to be alright, but there is nothing right about 6 teens killing themselves in the last 3 months. Nothing at all.

I knew then that this time it was different. This time she really was hurt. The other kids were simply faces with a name to her, not someone she had loved, I never imagined that my daughters heart would first be broken by death instead of a boy in the halls of the school.

Questions I couldn’t answer came flowing from her in those 24 hours after Facebook broke the news. Why don’t the boys grieve the way she does? Why is everyone dying? What happens next?

So we spend the week sitting with each other, saying not a word, the snap chats from her friends pictures of walls without words, solemn and in their grief they are forever united as well. They are the kids who survived. The kids who were friends with the girl who died. Titles they don’t want to bear that will follow them through life.

So this mama turned to what she knew and prayed. Prayed that eternity will unite them in God’s light. Praying for peace, understanding, help. Asking friends to pray because I don’t know how. Knowing that where two or more gather in His name… He is present, uniting us all.

Apr 182016
 

The laundry is done and I am placing the last of the folded clothes away inside a child’s drawer and decide to straighten up a bit. Three throw blankets that had been pulled from the top closet shelf folded and put up. Bending down to pick up a toppled over guitar I spot it.

A pile of soiled laundry tucked in the corner by a child who decided to hide a spill instead of being honest. I breathe deep and remind myself that I am homemaking for Christ and that I will be talking to this child about how hiding something and being deceptive is also lying.

The dishes are washed and sitting in the sink to dry and just as the last of the water drains and I toss my rag into the wash a plate pops in and again I have to look to God because that little plate could lead to a lot of frustration.

I am learning that when you live with your two kids and your two parents you end up with a lot of things always being dirty and rarely in a state of cleanliness that lasts more than a few seconds. These are my top 5 tips that I use to enjoy homemaking and make it awesome.

ONE

Worship music.

Yep, you heard me right, since I feel that homemaking is a calling from the Lord and I believe that I should do it to the very best of my ability in that moment or on that day I often sing hymns or play worship music on my IPad as I move around the house form one task or the other. It keeps my focus on Christ and serving Him by serving my family. One day I had a revelation on the bathroom floor and I haven’t looked back.

TWO

Grace.

A whole lot of grace. God gives me grace and I know I have to give my family grace. They eat, wear clothes, shower, make messes and aren’t perfect and neither am I. If God is so eager to give me grace, then it is my duty as a daughter of Christ to be a daughter that gives grace to my parents and children too.

THREE

Time Myself.

I hear so many people complain that they don’t have time to do the dishes or take the trash out or even clean the bathroom. Flylady says you can do anything for 15 minutes and way back when I used to set a timer for 15 minutes and would be amazed by how much I could get done in that time. Now I am less into the timer but have learned to use my time wisely.

For example, last night, I turned the kettle on for my tea and even though it was Sunday and the meal was big and my brother had been here I decided to wash dishes while I waited. I was done washing up before the kettle went off, which was less than 3 minutes. Dishes that I had planned to just leave for today because I was in pain and not feeling well were finished. Today we were able to wake up to clean pots and pans so the morning wasn’t rushed and we weren’t working around a mess.

FOUR

Pick up as I go.

If I head into a child’s room with laundry to deliver I will pick up any trash or Lego that has made its way into the room or onto the floor. It makes sense to make fewer trips and it makes it easier for my young teens to pick up their rooms on their own. It also makes my job easier if I find a glass or a plate and have it ready to wash BEFORE I do dishes!

The same goes for laundry, and of course, other rooms. Instead of walking past a throw on the floor I will grab it and fold it and toss it back onto the couch. Our one dog LOVES to throw the pillows and blankets in the living room around and if I want it to look somewhat orderly I may as well just pick it up as I walk past it. That way, when a bigger job like vacuuming comes along, the floor and surfaces are for the most part ready to go!

FIVE

Have a schedule.

Daily tasks are simple but easily forgotten. Put away my OWN laundry. Open the curtains. Bring any dishes from my bedroom to the kitchen. Fill my water bottle.

My weekly tasks include a day for wiping down the entire kitchen, meaning I remove everything from the counters and spray it, wipe it, and get rid of any crumbs. It always shocks me how many crumbs get behind things each week! EWW.

Other weekly tasks include vacuuming upstairs, vacuuming downstairs, deep cleaning the entire bathroom (I do some things as needed through the week so it stays mostly clean), watering the plants, fish tank maintenance, sweeping the stairs. I am sure you get the idea.

Monthly tasks include things like washing the comforters and duvets, turning mattresses, wiping the windows, cleaning out the car, and decluttering.

I don’t have to check my schedule every day but I do check it regularly. It is a nice guideline to help me be productive throughout the week.

What are your tips for keeping homemaking fun? I would love to know your tricks in the comments!

Mar 102016
 

I close my eyes and imagine that I am anywhere but inside of my own head. The thoughts violently swirling around to a past that I have never been able to forget and the news of this girl missing hitting me in the gut the way a tornado aims right at a trailer park.

I was only 9 years old when my cousin went missing. He walked out the door and said something to his sister and something just wasn’t right, he got into a white pickup truck that the police never looked for and didn’t care to find. It was easier to just stamp the cause of death as a suicide.

Three days we roamed the town, the yard, the gravel pits behind. Calling his name in a worry that everyone felt but no one cared to admit. Deep down we knew he wasn’t going to be found alive.

The police searched the area and searched again. On that third day they found his body at the bottom of a cliff. His cause of death was blunt force to the head, his shoe torn, his stomach empty and he was still warm, he had only died a few hours before. Suicide.

All these years later and it still doesn’t sit right. A 16 year old boy taken off for three days without any food or water with a hundred houses within the area he was found all with unlocked doors and a convenience store right next door. I have been to the brink of suicide, it didn’t take me 3 days to plot or plan, it didn’t involve any thought at all.

Now we have a 16 year old girl in our town missing just like that. No sign or trace or reason. She went for a walk with friends and was last seen at 6pm on February 27th, the police aren’t saying a thing, every task force you can imagine has set up in a church in an effort to bring her home. Every pole, window, car has a photo of the young lady smiling. Her mother putting it out there that if you hurt her to please just call and let them know where she is so they can bring her home.

At least we had that with my cousin, the homecoming. Followed by the blue casket sitting at the front of the church. I remember it being made of steel. The church overly packed. My aunt sedated to get through. I’ve had to sit through funerals sedated to.

I trust that God knows where she is just like He did my cousin. I pray that He is keeping her safe and that she isn’t being hurt. I pray that the truth will be set free and that as a community we can go back to feeling safe. Because a girl falling off the face of the earth at 6pm just doesn’t sit right.

If you’ve read this far please share her photo and pray that she will be returned to her family, friends and our community. She deserves that.

Feb 192016
 

I clean the bathroom on Thursdays unless it needs it otherwise. Call me crazy for leaving it a full week before doing it again but Thursday seems to be what works for our family so that’s what I do. This week though I have been feeling sick still from the flu I had last week. Exhaustion comes simply from thinking and naps have been a must for the past 10 days or so. I did clean the bathroom last week so I wasn’t really behind. Yet yesterday I just slept most of the day and had no energy so it got moved over to the to-do list for Friday.

Isn’t that how everyone wants to spend their Friday evening?

I woke up from my long nap around dinner time, everyone had eaten and I had no appetite yet again. I sat on the bed contemplating whether or not being awake was a good thing and I wondered how babies sleep in such awkward positions without being stiff. This extremely deep thought forced me to conclude that that is why babies cry -stiff joints after a good nap.

I pulled out my planner to see what I hadn’t done this week and the list was a mile long and the bathroom stood out to me like a sore thumb. After some deep Biblical talk (yes seriously) with myself about cleaning the bathroom to serve the Lord I got off my butt and went upstairs and used that highly toxic mint scented toilet bowl cleaner and wondered to myself how on earth getting cancer was godly, then, I noted that I am only going to use natural cleaners once that bottle is gone.

I removed everything from the counters and wiped away, got mold out of the window, finished with the 7 toothbrushes and toothpastes, refilled the soap dispenser and then pulled out my trusty and equally toxic Lysol wipes and quickly gave the outside of the toilet a once over. Then, it hit me.

I was cleaning the bathroom to serve God and my family BUT I wasn’t doing it with a servants heart. Revelation right there on the floor. I pulled out a few more wipes and torqued my body around the toilet and wiped it properly, I was actually pretty grossed out by how much my once over missed and continued to clean. This time while talking to God about how I need Him to continue to work in my heart to help me make the mundane into something that can bring Him glory. Yes, I want my toilet to shine, not just for me, but to show God how grateful I am to have a toilet to clean, a family to mess it up and the cleaning supplies to get the task done.

I grabbed the toilet brush and scrubbed away while humming some of my favorite worship songs and for the first time in awhile it felt like cleaning the bathroom wasn’t a chore, but a duty asked of me by God.

When I was done with that I cleaned the mirrors in the rest of the house that didn’t have a streak free shine despite having just been done, because I wanted them to sparkle for God instead of just being half-done or done incorrectly just so they could get a check mark. I swept the floor around the dog crates, put 2 gallons of water in the fish tank and wiped down their glass.

I am still behind on my chores for the week, but I am excited to be approaching them with the mindset that I am serving not only my family, but the One who has gifted me all that I have.

Growing up I often heard that cleanliness was next to Godliness, and while I don’t believe that to be true because we all have different standards and ideas of what clean is, I feel that God is moving in my heart to do the job to the best of my ability whether I am wiping up crumbs, scrubbing a toilet, or simply taking care of myself. He isn’t calling me to be perfect, He is calling me to serve.

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