Monday, September 10, 2012


Who would have ever guessed that some of the hardest days of my life would also be the very greatest?  Who would have known that in the midst of total despair and devastation; a best friend whose husband cheated and left, a baby who missed milestones and ended up with a fatal, rare disease, and several other heartbreaking lessons all wrapped up into a time of turmoil, I would find that the greatest gift of all is life- no matter how broken and shattered.
Life is able to be mended.

 The patch greeted us with skies wide open yesterday.  We were dressed for fall and ready for action.  The kids ran towards the corn maze as I followed closely behind, able to take in the entire view of what I can tell is shaping up to be a pretty crisp pre-winter.
 Despite a massive drought, pumpkins grew!
I looked in awe and I stumbled with the similarities to my own life.  Despite the drought {the fear, the sadness, the troubles and confusion}--I grew.  
God creates such a beautiful masterpiece when a seed is planted.  He is able to bring life from little rain and triumph from little hope.  
 Just so you know...I have not neglected the fact that Braden needs a hair cut.  He cries when I mention it because he wants to 'grow his hair long so he can fling it like a rock star...'
So it's growing.  It needs cut.  And I choose my battles.
 And in staying with the 'choose your battles' theme, please disregard Nora's scarf in the following photos.  I wore one and she wanted to wear hers.  She dresses herself and we usually argue about it.  I have lifted the white flag and let her leave the house however she so pleases.
Usually it aint pretty.
 I realize that I'm making these early fall posts sound incredibly too-good-to-be-true.  Let me reassure you that right now, as I'm writing from one of the white chairs in our front yard, I can hear Mabel screaming hysterically from the kitchen.  The windows are open [it's brilliant] so I can hear her shrill scream carrying a hefty tune through our neighborhood.  She has cried this entire day. It is not all perfect.  In fact if I were writing about sunshine and roses there would also be clouds and thorns.  The two often do go hand in hand.  However, I feel like joy is a choice.  I can vouch for the fact that grief forms strict barriers around your heart and therefore the option to choose joy during such a time is limited.  But when the barriers are let down just enough so you can step over them, you can also reach right into the beautiful sunlit pasture and grasp that joy once again.  
I know because I'm doing it.
 In corn husks wrapped in beautiful flower-like weeds.  In late night coffee and hooded sweatshirts, in a new book with crisp pages, in random texts from women who light up my life, in a new found love for bike riding, in watching my 6 year old play in the grass.  
I am choosing to not only seek the joy again, but also to see it.
 Rache brought me Angie Smith's new book last night.  
It's titled, "Mended."
I teared as I felt the perfect pages and then opened them to see my best friend's handwriting.  She wrote intimate things but mostly she talked about the lessons we have learned together through the last two years.  People still disagree with some of the things we have had to learn by experience and that is ok.  Life has afforded those people the ability to still maintain opinions on things that haven't yet happened to them.  It's easy to assume the very black and white until you have lived in the gray.

We have had to learn that God sometimes says no, Everything in the world can be made right by dancing, and it's ok to feel everything exactly how YOU feel it.  
We have learned a million other things together and walked away with so many similar ideas.  And we have walked away with very separate, individual ideas as well.  All in all we have grown together and our differences have made us stronger. 
 Each season that we have experienced emotionally has mirrored one another somehow.  And now, in this season of fall, 2 years after heartache and life change, I can truly see how this is the season of mending.

I looked up at Rache, holding my new book last night in our front yard and said, "I can finally see that it was not Mabel who needed healing all this was my heart."
 In the heartbreak and the pain, it was so vivid that my life was never going to be remotely the same as it once was.  I mourned that deeply and even now, typing this, it is hard for me.  It saddens me to know that the carefree, innocent young girl that I once was had been stolen from me without my say in the matter.  It's not as if I made choices that led me here.  In my mind it mimics the idea of a small child who was abused for many years and had that childhood ripped away far too early.  I didn't want to let go of the life that was oh-so-good-to-be-true.  
And so I held on for far too long, fighting it.
 But recently, I finally did let go.  
I pulled up my big girl panties and I accepted that I was now facing a life that was very different than I had envisioned and that it was going to be hard every single day.  But in that hard, sad life there was also so much joy and beauty and I was missing it.  I had wasted enough time wishing for things to be different.  

I know, though, that it was not my decision to feel better that helped me do so.  Grief forms a personality and has a mind of his own.  He set up residence in me and until he was ready to move along, I couldn't ask him to do so.  I fostered him, took care of him and even became comfortable with him being there.  It's very similar to the relationships in our life in it's ability to become that one steady and stable thing in the midst of madness.
I can feel my heart being mended.  I can feel grace slipping in, slowly, to the places where sadness once dwelt.  I can feel mercy, new and untainted, following my every step and meeting my every need.  In the morning, day and evening, He is oh so near. 
 There is only one thing more beautiful than that one perfect fall day.
It is that perfect fall day when you can truly recognize and appreciate the beauty after an awful, dark, rainy, mucky season.  It is like opening the windows and letting the cool air blow away the dust that covered every crooked and narrow thought and every painful reminder of the time that changed you.
 That is what is happening in my home and in my heart right this very moment.
These very days...
 I could easily sit here with full knowledge of what's to come and surrender to the overwhelming sadness that inevitably lurks.  But I'm not.  I don't feel it, and I don't hope to.
What I hope to do is enjoy every smile, every giggle, every early morning, every accident, every scream, every frustration, every dinner, every eye roll, every hand hold...
every.single.thing about this season of mending.
 Because I am alive.
 He is alive.
He is well.
He is in control.
He is God.
He is sovereign.
He sometimes says no.
But He is here.
[and He hasn't and won't ever leave me.] 

 So my toenails are painted a deep fall red, the orange kitchen (in it's first fall debut) is decked with wonder and perfection, the kids smell of grill fire and playtime, and my heart is leaping inside of my chest every time I feel the breeze blow gently across my face.
 There's a whisper tucked away in it's presence.
"Draw near to me and don't forget my refreshing.  Let my spirit blow over you as if the autumn breeze.  Let me linger on your skin and gallop across your mind.  I will be near to you as you draw near to me.  I am the God of the mending."

 And so let it be.
The mending has begun.

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