Sunday, December 30, 2012

learning our lesson

Here we are - sitting so close to a new year.

All the newness so full of inspiration.

I will be honest.  I'm so ready.  I'm ready to say farewell to a year that took me for a wild ride.

This last Christmas reminded me a bit of last Christmas. Car repairs right before the holidays, intense illness clustered at the same time, and a DIY home project that we should have waited to do til another long weekend came along.

I could sit here and lie and talk about the roar of the fire on Christmas morning but truth be told, I drank 3 cups of coffee on Christmas morning to just make it through after being up all night long with Simon who caught RSV a few days before the holiday.

Life has just been....hard.

I've been reluctant to share much as I know so many people will just tell me 'It will all get better...or God is in control..."

and those are both very TRUE!

But still...there is beauty and success gained when we are just honest about the inevitable hard points in life.  I'm not on earth to pretend life is a party - even though I really really like to party. ;-) It's been tough - shed a TON of tears, felt SO alone, tackled more on my own than ever and we made it through.  Joel and I are still here, our kids are alive and our baby grew.  I'm pretty happy about that and that is where I leave you, 2012.

2013 - I'm trying to be realistic.  I want to be healthy.  I want to eat so that my body works at its best and any illnesses that try to come its way are met with fierce immunity.  I want to know my husband better, how to serve him, love him and be even more true to him.  I long to be a Mother who is kind and compassionate and doesn't expect performers out of young boys...simply boys out of boys. I want to connect to a body of people who love God, His people and serve without judgement.  I want to better my skillset as both a makeup artist and amateur chef to my family.  I want to write more, listen more, hug more, kiss more, and rest more.

I give myself grace on the areas I will fall short but ultimately, I'm thrilled for a new beginning and wishing you all the same.

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

good & kind

With Christmas approaching so close, I am like many of you - hurried and quickly trying to finish prep for holiday gatherings and baking.

This year is so different, though, when I think to those parents who have recently experienced such deep pain.  The loss of a child, from what I hear, is one of the most difficult emotional traumas in this life.

A little bit of my joy is replaced with grief over these sweet smiles that they will sorely miss on Christmas morning and every morning thereafter.

Like so many of the horrible things that happen in life, when you hear of them....and continue to hear of them for years to come, you never forget where you were when 'it' happened.  The Columbine shooting, 9/11, Chardon's shooting, etc.

This last tragic event took place last Friday.  The horror of that day will never be minimized.  However, something else good and beautiful and kind took place that day as well.   A dear friend of our family gave birth to twins...twins that biologically belong to another family.  This friend had been, for so many years, desiring to give this gift.  Her love of her own 4 children and her enjoyment with all things that pregnancy brings made her such a lovely candidate for this process.

I'd been keeping up with her facebook posts as the baby's progressed - I always thought, "Wow, I love how she's loving and caring for these little ones even though they aren't hers...."  What a gift, what a kind and precious act of kindness to change the course of a family's life by offering her body and strength and time.  After several years of my own struggle with infertility....I remember the thought coming to me, 'What if I needed someone else to do this for me?"  I am so happy for this couple, whose babies they have been dreaming of are real and perfect and their own.

Just want to acknowledge that those twins (both of which are perfect and bigger
than my first two sons-HUGE for twins!) are an example of the purity and innocence still left in this world.  Kindness is so unexpected....and yet when you shed it on others, YOU are the one who is blessed.  It's a guarantee.  I plan to use these current events to spark up conversation in our home on how to be the change - as it always starts with the family.

May you all be blessed this holiday season - filled with love for one another - choosing to be slow to speak and slow to become angry - understanding how much more blessed it is to give than it is to receive.

Lord - please continue to wrap your arms around those aching Mommy's and Daddy's....sisters and brothers...Grandpas and Grandma' they mourn.  Give them beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for their mourning.

Merry Christmas!

Joel & Jess + boys