Don’t Worry, Bloom!

“Why are you anxious about what you’ll wear? Consider the lilies. See how they grow. They don’t struggle or toil to be that beautiful … yet they are more lovely than royalty.  If that’s how God takes care of the flowers,  will he take care of you —you of little faith?  So do not worry.  Seek His Kingdom first.”  ~  Jesus (to those listening on the mountainside) as told by Matthew, His Disciple. 

Last night, TheFarmer (aka Hubs) finished putting in the carrots with the help of Emme.  We live in a small city, but as they say “you can take the farmer off the land…” (do they say that?) and for the last almost 10 years, #gardening has been a big part of life during the Spring, Summer and Fall here at our little urban homestead.

There’s weeding and hoeing and planting and watering.  Carrots. Potatoes. Beans. Corn. Tomatoes. Peppers. Cucumbers. Our strawberry patch and apple trees are blooming white. Raspberries will set on soon.  Purple petunias everywhere. Bleeding hearts blossoming. Peonies taking their time. Oh, and dandelions!  (I love them.  TheFarmer despises them!)

We planted this year, in this place we love, we call home, not a home of dreams, but a home we’ve made, together as a family.  Nine months ago we thought we wouldn’t put the garden in. We thought we’d have a For Sale sign in our yard and be one the move, forward with a big transition from our little homestead in the city to the country life, close to where Hubs works right now, close to his family, with room to grow more, and work together, no longer needing Hubs to be away so much.  Stuff of dreams for sure… almost too much of a dream.  Dare I say it would be stuff of miracles if it worked out, but who knows?  Maybe a miracle will happen.  We’ve waited.  We’ve trusted.  We’ve done our research, our parts.

But as we’ve discovered over the years, God’s Timing is His Own.  We’ve done our part to move forward on this possibility.  But it is taking time and if there’s something this Momma struggles with is blooming where she’s planted instead of worrying about things like… hey, where will the kiddos go to school? Will we get the money we should out of our house if we don’t sell in the Spring?  What happens if this plan falls through, if doors close? What will we do?  Will we find a faith community as beloved as ours here?  Will my kids make friends easily?  Can we really afford this?  What? Where? How?

Those questions.  That worry.  That’s not blooming.  That’s not letting God clothe us with His Peace and Grace as we wait. God’s time is His Own, and just like our little homestead, all planted, ready to bloom, it takes time for the seeds to germinate, to sprigs of green, to blossoms, to fruit. Time, and care, not worry and stress.

So I’ll bloom here for as long as I am here.  We’ll be okay, trusting God for tomorrow and whatever comes.  We’ll wait and watch for our little plants to grow. We’ll water and weed, and hopefully reap some of the harvest, knowing God has us here, right now, for His Timing is His Own.

So I’ll be over here, blooming.  Or trying to.







I See You: Reflecting on #MothersDay

Writer’s Note: This entry was first written in Spring 2007, It seems like a lifetime again, and yet, I read it through and know that even though I still have my Mother with me on earth, even though I love being my kids’ mother, I feel keenly the losses I’ve suffered, and I pray each day that what I’ve faced will always, always soften my heart for those who I know face the hard things too. I know I’m blessed but I think I would fail in making the most of my life experiences if I didn’t do the work of acknowledging the losses that many women feel in light of all the emphasis on mothering and Mother’s Day every year.
For some, even for me, even as I am privileged to be a Mother, it is a re-opening of a wound I/they work hard to heal, and I’ve come to realize, again through personal experience, and in knowing many women of character who have endured so much, that a huge part of getting through the heartache is for someone to say “I see you”.
And so that is what this is…

 “I see you”. 

I think the celebration of #Mothers is a wonderful necessity in our lives these days. I think a lot of mothers and their influence on their children and therefore on the world has been minimized to a desperate degree. With all the push in the culture towards a woman’s self-satisfaction in her career has overshadowed the immediate role of a person who is a Mother in the life of the child they parent. So celebrating Mothers is good, very good.  And I am blessed to know many exceptional mothers who give all for their children.  And I celebrate these women. 

But what about those who for whatever reason find this day painful, heartbreaking? 

I know women who avoid church like the plague on Mother’s Day Sunday because they know all it will do is highlight the fact that they’ve lost… whether it be a child due to premature death, stillbirth, miscarriage, or a child through adoption… or the dream of a child at all because of infertility or the single life. Or through custody disputes in divorce.

 And yes, children who’ve lost Mothers through any of these avenues as well. We celebrate Mothers, but I think we do a big injustice to other mothers (or people who long to be mothers) by only celebrating, and not taking a moment just to acknowledge that there is pain for many.

Through years of ministry and just plain life, I have met woman upon woman for whom this day is hard, and you would never know it.  They are women who are obviously parenting, but carried lost children in their hearts, and long for the day they will be reunited with their little ones born to heaven or living in another family.  No one would ever know their hearts are heavy by their appearance.  I know women who have lost many children before they were blessed to parent on earth, and they remember them.  I know women who have placed  children in another family, and miss their kids every…single…day.  I know women for whom childlessness is overwhelming, and they long for things to be different.  

For them and so many more living with disappointment and loss in their parenting life, Mother’s Day makes it all the more harder, just one more milestone they have to mark in their loss.  I have known women who struggle because mothering the children they love and are blessed to parent is not what they expected, often because their child has challenges that keep them from being able to express love in return.  For these, and so many more with very unique circumstances, this day is hard.  I see you.

 This definitely gets very personal too.  Our journey to our family includes having to “live through” the pain of infertility and pregnancy loss in front of everyone, and how we needed someone to stop and say “I see you, and you know, you can have a break on this day instead of preaching, leading…we understand you may be hurting”. No one ever did that. I don’t blame them because looking back, how could they know? 

But still, I don’t want that to happen to others now that I know how it feels. We were fortunate during that time to be surrounded by some amazing teens from our youth group, who seemed to be sensitive beyond their years to our pain, who most definitely said, “I see you”  and who celebrated us as people of influence in their lives. But not everyone has that.

 I know that in any given faith gathering this Mother’s Day, regardless of how large or small, there will be AT LEAST one (but most likely more, many, many more) women who have lost a child and no one knows about it. First mothers through adoption. Childless mothers through infertility. Single women who long for the chance to be a mother. Others who’ve lost babes through pregnancy loss. Or stillbirth. Or abortion. Or cancer. Or an accident. Or divorce.  I see you.

 Older women who have outlived their children.  Or live with regret over the breaks in relationship.  I see you.

 Children who have lost their Mothers. Through death. Through adoption. Through divorce. Against their will. Are we ready to remember them, to acknowledge that they might, most probably do, have pain on this day??? We never know who might be hurting even though on the outside, you can’t see it.  But I see you.

 So please celebrate, but as you do, remember the hurting mothers.  See them.  And say a prayer of of blessing and peace for them. 

Should I start again?

I’m good at disappearing.  Writing is a love but when it’s feels more like complaining, it becomes something I believe others can do without.  It becomes an exercise of re-vamping the complaining into #hope and trying to live the next day better.

I’m just wondering if I should start again?  I don’t know.  I write stuff in my head all the time. I mean, it’s my calling, having something to say because God puts it there.  And right now, really, I have no one to say it to.  So maybe I should.

But can I? These last couple of years have been #rollercoaster.  Uncertainty as companion, wondering why God continues to allow it to be so.  Kids growing by leaps and bounds, forging their own way yet needing my hand and heart with theirs more than ever.  Joy of seeing their success.  Heartache of watching them struggle.  Hubs away trying to forge not a way for us to join him in a more together sort of family life. Trying to daily, #takewhatcomesandbegrateful.  But I’m not very good at it as sometimes my courage wavers and I let the joy seek below the hard stuff.  Poof. Crying out “how long oh Lord…til everything is how it should be” and remembering that in His time and His way, He makes all things work. I just have to get on board for the adventure.

I’m contemplating stuff… like if my life is supposed to be as #justamom caring for my babes who are gift and light and love and joy but need me (and whoever said that it gets easier when they’re tweens and teens was either lying or kidding themselves or I got a different lot) more than ever, and whether there is still room for God to speak through me…somewhere.

If you can’t tell, there is streams of all sorts working its way through my little brain, the wondering about what is going on mixed with the assurance that I have a hope because I have a God who never fails, loves always, cares for us, has a plan for us, keeps his promises, gives enough grace for each day, restores the depleted, mends the broken heart, shouts His love for us from the cross, rains His power over us as He stands in glorious sunlight resurrected. When trust is hard I must remember this.

So maybe I should start writing out loud again, and maybe not. We’ll see.