Give up the ghost

I watch him, he’s learned to walk and he has no fear. No fear, I know. I see the brave in him when he lets go of mama’s hand and walks, almost runs on his own. I see brave as he climbs stairs and he climbs chairs and he would climb down them alone if mama would let him. I watch him and I wonder how to get back there, to Eden. He has no fear and he’s there, in Eden. He’s innocent and brave but he looks back at mama while he does these things, like my presence makes him this way. Like it’s okay for brave so long as mama’s with him. And he laughs from the pit of him and it’s pure and sweet  and what is it about a baby’s laugh that does something inside of us?  It changes us for a moment. We don’t think about worry for a moment. For a moment we’re innocent, too. It’s Eden. 

And there’s a ghost that’s been chasing me or maybe I’ve been chasing it. And it’s midnight and He wakes me and He asks me to give it up. I pretend I don’t know what He’s talking about but He knows, I know. Because I’ve eaten the whole apple and I’ve known more than He’s wanted me to and it’s been chasing me, I’ve been chasing it. So many times I’ve closed my eyes and the liar is there. The liar shows me what he said would be forgotten and he lied. It’s there. And there’s plans I’ve been making without Him and I’ve been chasing them until my legs grow weak. He asks if He can come but I know what that means – give up the ghost. And can I? Hand over this box with all of my things? Hand over these plans in my mind for an unknown thing? Can I relearn this life-thing and get back to Eden? Before the apple fell into my lap? The Eden where he is, my trusting boy who’s brave comes from knowing his mama isn’t far behind. Can I find his brave in knowing that He isn’t far behind?

So I’ve invited Him deeper but really He’s probably invited me. He sits with me at the table of my soul and He knows everything I’m about to say. He breaks bread and He offers me some. He knows I don’t find the good in the clouds covering the sun. In the car that finds trouble in the rain. He knows I clench teeth when bank account runs dry and He asks, “Where is your brave?” And He asks, “Where is your trust?” And He asks, “Where is your hope?” And He knows, hope is in the ghost I’ve been chasing. In the plans I’ve been making. The ones I forgot to invite Him to. So He pours wine and He asks me to drink. He asks if I remember the house in the country and Him meeting me there. He asks if I remember slamming the door and telling Him to leave. If I remember the cool mornings on screened in porch where we met over coffee. All He wanted was to lift the heavy from my chest that had been there for years. He asks if I remember and I do. Because He did. It was painful because of the enemy but He was not the enemy. He was cool breeze in the early morning and He never left even when I slammed the door. And I remember. I take a sip and I see dark room and apple juice and I see nails and cross and I’m free. It’s been years, and I’m free. It seems so easy. The Answer. He asks and I remember. 

I open The Book and it’s Eden. It’s my brave child and I’m brave, too. Papa lingers behind me as we walk through the field and I feel brave, for the first time in a long time. And He speaks of thankfulness rolling off tongue but that’s a foreign language to me. It’s all over these pages and I’ve read them before but seeing them now as we walk hand in hand it’s like the first time. Thankful in all of this. Thankful for where we are. Thankful that that door didn’t open and thankful for wisdom to close the next with our own hands, even if it aches me. Thankful for dirt under toes and thankful for little hands to hold. And I can be tired and I can be broken and I question – but its been in these pages all along, waiting for me to give up my ghosts, waiting for me to invite Him in or maybe accept His invitation. For thankful. For His road. For His hand to hold. 

And I’m running in the field and there’s a wild in my soul flamed with a fire from Heaven, and He’s trailing behind fueling my brave. 

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Mama, I’m Tired

We don’t have a schedule. We don’t have certain things we do at specific times of the day. Not yet, anyway. We never stuck with sink baths. He insists on taking a shower with me. Sometimes we don’t get dressed until the afternoon, and sometimes it’s only to put clean pajamas back on. I see other mama’s and I wonder how they do it. They post photos of themselves with their hair curled and make up done and I bet her legs are shaved. I bet her bed is made. I look at me and my hair hasn’t been washed in what feels like since his birth and I’m wearing this shirt that smells of spit-up. 

And I look at him. The one who made me mama. He looks at me, looks passed the mess of me. Gives me the sweetest smile, the one I’m so in love with. “I’m thankful.” I whisper. He brushes his ear to let me know, “Mama, I’m tired.” I rock him in my arms as he fights the heavy wave of sleep sweeping over his deep blue eyes. I’m thankful for those eyes. I sing Amazing Grace for the millionth time since we brought him home. Sleep invites him in and I lean my head back and let out a deep breath.

We don’t get out much anymore. Making it to Target is our getaway these days. I push him in his stroller and the brightly lit store widens his eyes. We pass another mama pushing her newborn and her hair is in a bun and she has eyes that miss sleep. Looks at my little singing boy then to me, smiles faintly as if to say, “Mama, I’m tired.” And I know, these are the days.

 And these days our living room has toys piled in a corner and I’ve been having to remind our dog that they aren’t for him. 

 There’s dishes in the sink and the laundry’s waiting to be switched over and the fridge is growing bare. All of a sudden it’s past noon and the dogs still haven’t been let out and I haven’t eaten lunch, and what are we having for dinner again? Wasn’t there a magic dinner fairy that was suppose to come in this marriage-package deal? 

He jumps up and down in his bouncer as I cook over the stove before his daddy gets home. He coo’s conversation to me and my mama heart is thankful. It’s busy and draining and I’m wishing I could shave my legs, but I’m thankful. I cook dinner and he smiles as he throws his Sophie Giraffe across the kitchen floor. Calls for me with his sleepy eyes that let me know, “Mama, I’m tired.” I sing Amazing Grace over those deep sea eyes and I wonder how I’m going to do it all over again tomorrow. I wonder if these yesterday chores will ever get done tomorrow. My eyes grow heavy as I rock him back and forth and I say to myself,Mama, I’m tired.” And I’m wishing for my mama to rock me to sleep, too.  I’m wishing for the sweetest graces sung over me.

Just when I think sleep has stolen him away, he looks up at me and touches my face. In all of my exhaustion and worry if I’m doing enough, am I doing this mama thing right? Did I give enough kisses and hug him tight enough? All it takes is that look from him and his sweet embrace that says, “Mama, you’re doing enough.”

And I know one day when he’s old enough to put himself to sleep, when he no longer needs a lullaby to be sung, when there’s time to do laundry and I notice I have smoothe legs again, I’m going to be praying to hear those words inviting me to rock him close in my arms once more, Mama, I’m tired. 

The Other Side Of It All

Years before my son, I chose abortion. It was my choice. Maybe because of where I was at in life. Maybe because I was too ashamed to carry a child at the time. Maybe because I didn’t know more. I wish I had known more.

 I knew I wanted abortion, but even more I knew it was wrong. I knew the thought of it made my stomach sick. I knew I didn’t want anyone to know. I knew I was scared. And I was too paralyzed with fear to run from what my heart was telling me not to do. 

When I was pregnant for the first time they didn’t call my baby a baby. They called my baby a fetus. They told me I’d receive counseling but all they did was give me a paper to check off boxes asking if this was my choice and if I was raped. They turned the screen away so I couldn’t see my baby in womb. So I couldn’t see my baby’s beating heart. They did everything possible to disconnect my  mind to the fact that I was carrying a baby. A human. My child. As they continually said this is a fetus. Fetus. Not life. Fetus. Fetus. Fetus. Fetus. Fetus…

When I was pregnant for the second time they congratulated me right away. As my sons small body showed up on that screen, she pointed to him and called him my baby. “There’s your baby. There’s your baby’s heart.” The same gestational age as my first baby. And I cried. She smiled. She patted my leg. She didn’t know my thoughts immediately rushed to my first baby. That this is what my first baby in womb looked like, but I didn’t get to see. I didn’t get to see my first baby squirm around the way my son was on the screen. I cried not only because I was happy for my second child, but because I was sad for my first child. Because I wanted abortion, I took my first baby’s life. Because I was born, because I can talk and breathe air and because you can visibly see me in front of your face, I had the right to take my first baby’s life away. That is my right. 

When we want our baby in womb then it is a baby. We call it a baby from the start and the doctors call it our baby and send us off with “what to expect” books and a million congratulations. We have baby showers and we buy pinks or blues and everyone around us is in celebration, too.

But when we don’t want that child..

There is a disconnect with abortion. When we want an abortion it is only a fetus. It is not yet life. And we totally support abortion because the baby on that screen doesn’t fully look like a baby yet. We are repeatedly told that it is not yet life and the doctors at the clinic drill it into our minds that it is only a fetus and send us on our way with antibiotics and a paper with our signature that signed life away. You know, sometimes in the quiet we wonder what if we never signed that life away. 

When abortion comes there’s no congratulations. There’s no happy at the end of the day. When abortion comes so does the dark. The innocence once felt in soul disintegrates, because abortion came.  They say there will come relief but it’s been all this time and I’m still trying to catch my breath. For so long I couldn’t move forward like they said I would. I’ve let the silence overcome me and I’ve wished and prayed and begged to go back to that day. To run out of those doors but instead I stayed. Room full of women waiting for the same thing, we all stayed. I believe in healing and believe me I’m healed, but it didn’t come easily. I ran and I screamed, cried and fought, forgave and released. There will never be a day where I will say I’m proud. I’ll never live without regret. 

And so here I stand, on the other side of it all. I see people scream for their right to choose. I see people joke about it being our human right to “kill fetuses” because it’s our body. I look at my son and I’m so glad he made it. I’m so glad for his life. I’m so glad his mama values life today. I look at my son with joy, yet I’m burdened. For the ones who didn’t get the chance to make it, to choose for themselves because their life isn’t viewed as valuable unless they are wanted. I stand on the other side wishing the world knew. 

Oh babies, you are loved. Your lives still matter. You aren’t forgotten.

For more prolife blog posts please click these two links: 

A Voice is heard in Ramah 

Cycle of feeling

The Beginnings 

I want to remember these days. In our cozy nook on a seemingly quiet street. It’s not always so quiet. When I found you existed in our small bathroom and I immediately thanked Jesus a thousand times. The way a bad day is still beautiful because you give me hope. The hot summer days we took our dogs for a walk, then sat in the backyard, my belly bare and daddy in his boxers, hose in between our feet blasting on mist to cool down. I want to remember the way you kick when your daddy prays, when I sing a song to the Father, and when our favorite Pastor preaches at church. The times we aren’t sure how we’ll make it, but we always do. Standing in front of the mirror, breaking down to tears over everything and nothing. Your daddies arms are the hero and wrap me in from behind, reminding me that everything is well. You are weaving in my womb, and so all is well. And I want to remember to always ask Father, to never let us despise these days of small beginnings. One day we’ll look back and laugh at these days, cry for these days back. Oh sweet love, these are the days I want to always remember. The beginnings of you.


Preparing a Place

It’s been a while. A year ago a few spiritual leaders had given me almost the same word, at different times, in different states. That I am strong. I have a voice. I shouldn’t be afraid to say the words in my heart. But I had hurt in my heart from the unfulfilled. Maybe I had been walking that out. Maybe I had been trying to release the things I thought should be mine in my time and maybe I’d been trying to do it in my own power. 

I don’t know what changed in my heart. I don’t know if it was the pastor in the old church that asked me to trust Jesus, just for a year, or the never ending forgiveness and love in my husbands eyes. I don’t know if it was a mix of it all. But somewhere in between, I learned to exhale the dirt and inhale His promise. Hang on to things that matter and let go of things that don’t. Things that we worry too much about and things that we neglect. So I’ve been throwing things away. Clutter, clothes, useless feelings, things I’ve let make home in my mind for too long. I’ve been reading Ecclesiastes. I’ve been breathing in fresh air and exhaling all of the smoke. Been saying words out loud instead of stuffing them deep into a journal. 

And the Lord had been preparing my heart all along for what’s here and what’s to come. 

We’ve been painting a crib and changing table that was given to us for our baby boy. I’m keen on making sure my love doesn’t miss any spots so it’s perfect for him. Preparing a perfect safe haven for when he arrives. 

He’s growing and forming and with each passing day his body becomes stronger. He has no idea of what’s to come in a few short months. That his peaceful life in his mama’s womb is just the beginning. It’s taken some time, but soon he will be ready to venture out into a bigger world. And the dark, safe place he knows right now will be incomparable to the vibrant colors and love and adventure awaiting him. I’ve been preparing a place. 


I’ve come to know the Father in these ways. The way He prepares us for new things ahead, makes us a little bit stronger day by day for what’s ahead. As we are living life, unaware of all the ways He is perfectly preparing our future for us. I’ve come to know the Father’s love deeper as I fall more in love with this little lamb whose face I have yet to see. When his kicks grow stronger and I’m filled with excitement, I imagine God’s same excitement when He watches us grow and overcome. Because we will be all the more ready for what is to come next. 

I told my husband at the end of 2015 I felt it in my spirit that the Lord was preparing us for change. For things to end so greater things could come to life. At first I became anxious and wanted it all to happen right then, but God needed to prepare us. Grow us and heal us to launch us into what’s to come. It’s not all unfolded yet but I see it coming to life. And I used to feel afraid to leave what’s safe and familiar but I’m not so scared anymore. He’s preparing a place in the distance and allowing us to grow stronger in the meantime. 

Dreams will come true. New life in all aspects will be born. Our faith will be stronger than it has been in the past. Day by day. It’s Heaven and it’s now. He’s preparing a place. 

From Where I Stand

I’d rather eat with my homeless friends than have lunch with the president. I’d rather sit on a barstool, breathing in smokey air and pour love than sit on a hard pew, drowning in the religious. I’d rather listen to cuss words flowing from a genuine place of a hurting heart than a fake ‘how are you’ from the person who really doesn’t care. And I’d rather laugh with my nieces than have the child drained out of me by most adults. I’d rather spend a day outdoors with my dogs than listen to you go on about your designer clothes. I’d rather love the best I could on every corner of my hometown than feel empty, traveling the world. But I never want to become too afraid to go. 

I want to learn to find my joy even when it appears stolen. Learn to use my voice even when they drown me out. Learn to stand my ground even when the concretes breaking. And learn to walk with Jesus through misery than be enticed by the devil to the mountaintop. So tired of being tempted to an unsteady mountaintop. 

  

The Kind Of Man That I Am

” Even if I never believed in Heaven. No matter the circumstances, I would fight for you. I would honor my vows, I would love you still you, because that’s the kind of man that I am. “

You’re the good kind of man, the one who can confess  unshakeable love over your easily shaken wife. You’re the steadfast man. The one who is foundation, even through the storm. 

And when the past sweeps in like a tidal wave, you are  the lighthouse, calling me back to shore. 

And when I confess all of my shame, eyes to the floor in the midst of my broken, your soft gaze assures me that, “we’re not all that different.” It seems as though no matter what I have done, you are ready to love me through it. 

You’re the man that cleans up the mess your tornado of a wife leaves behind. When life gets messy and busy and loud, you are sure to never leave me behind. 

And even when I had been so unloveable, that morning I got home from work you  had flowers and chocolate and a card waiting. It was Sweetest Day, and I had forgotten. But you knew. I smiled and forgot why I was mad.

Remember our first year, we lived in a 36 foot long motor home with our dog, thinking we were going to travel this land, but your wife’s ever changing mind realized closet space just wasn’t big enough. So within a month God provided a beautiful home in the country owned by Jesus loving people. And I still believe it was so God could really meet us there, could pull me out of the pit. He changed so much out there in the country. I asked Him to go away but He wouldn’t ever go too far. Remember how we wanted to sell that motor home, thinking it would take awhile, but it was sold right away? And I spent some money and took up scrap booking. You let me get a kitten that first year and we learned love is a fight.  

Year two came by the ocean. It was hard and we both cried. Year two came and you learned the well of my soul. I thought this would be the end of it, but you loved me more for it. You learned I’m dramatic and I’m always thinking more than I’m saying and that I long to be a mamma. I learned that you’re willing to go the extra mile and unafraid to say the words that are hard to find and the love you give is a reflection of Jesus. And we spent some money on a real nice camera, ’cause I was gonna get serious about that photography stuff. You let me get a fish that second year, our cat ate him soon after, and we learned love is sweet. 

We hit year three in salty air. It’s true we weren’t sure if we would make it at times. Well, you knew we’d make it but it seemed like sometimes I’d made up my mind. Many times I wouldn’t say a thing but you knew by then the well of my soul overflowed. I wouldn’t say a thing so you would wait for me, to find courage. And you were always gentle. Many times I would run my mouth but you knew by now that I was just trying to get under skin. So you pull me in. Love me more. Even after how many times I’ve slammed the door, you pull me in. I crashed the car and you smashed your phone. I’m hard to love but you come easy. We’re still unpacking all of the luggage I forgot to mention I’d bring. But you don’t mind, you say ‘take your time.’ We’ve cried a lot but laughed more. And I spent more money and took up crocheting. Oh, and bath bombs. So there’s an unfinished scrap book, a really dusty camera in the closet somewhere, and an unfinished scarf waiting in the corner. You laugh when I mention a new hobby but you go along with it anyway. You let me get a puppy this third year, and we learned that Jesus is the core of love. You already had known that, but you walked with me through the valley to get to that truth, anyways. 

You never give up on me. Always pushing me. Standing like a rock when I throw the hard truth of my faults in your face. And when I think that God couldn’t be this good of a God, that someone like me doesn’t deserve someone as good as you, you continue to show me real Jesus love. You continue to draw me in closer and deeper to His love. That the past is rotten manna. And today is so much better.

Thank you for being you. For worshiping our Father so unashamed. Never changing for anyone, even when they treat you bad. You are sincerely the most genuine, non-judgemental, kind-hearted human I have ever met. Thank you for showing me our Fathers love everyday. Thank you for living out exactly who you proclaim to be. For showing me that we can live life chasing Jesus while being exactly who we are, despite what the “norm” is said to be, despite the looks we receive. Thank you for sticking it out with me. For being my anchor. I love you. And the kind of man that you are. 

 

When He Calls You Sweetness

In the golden hour I remember to trust You. The busy of the day retires. Families walk hand in hand to their homes. The beating sun sinks low. It reflects the hues of gold, and I know. Let go. Of heavy traffic that made me late. Irritation that rolled off of tongue. The trouble I seem to get myself into. The way I can’t seem to keep myself out. Of this world. The way this world tuned out who I am. And I Am. He reminds me, in the golden hour. Of who I am. Created to be. He calls me by name, Sweetness. Singing Love over me. Singing hope into me. The way my bones begin to breathe again. Because dust falls and gold reflects and grace is like a gift too expensive to accept. Gold lingers and there’s no roof to this mercy. There’s no roof so the rain pours in over me. Washes clean the skin that felt so dirty from the day. From the nights before. From every moment I’ve lost myself and forgotten who I am. Heaven touches earth and sky paints gold like honey. Then Jesus. I think of the cross and all that I have laid upon it. I think of His hands, how hard I have hit into them. I think of His eyes and I just can’t look into them. Not after this. Not again. And how much more can the Father take from me? How much more burden can the Father carry for me? He leads me to the garden of my heart and He sits with me at the table. Tells me the story about love that is strong enough. Mercy that is deep enough. Heaven that is sweet enough. He says, oh darling you are sweet enough. And for a moment I remember me. The real me. The one He sees. For a moment heart breaks and love fills and time stands still. And it’s almost too much to bear. Almost too much to believe that someone did this all for me.

In the golden hour you recognize who you are. The day begins to fade. Grace pours out and mercy flows in. And I’m standing in His love, more than overwhelmed, on the receiving end.
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Unfulfilled Desires & The Morning Light

Sunday my heart hurt as I walked into August with unfulfilled desires that I thought God said were coming true now. As I stood there in church during worship, I remembered what I thought I heard and my chest felt heavy with the unfulfilled. With the desires in heart that I’ve been clinging to. And I remembered the way July has just sucked. Both my husbands uncle and grandma passed away in a span of 3 weeks. Along with a gloom over my heart and no fulfilled desires and the way marriage can sometimes feel like a burden more than the blessing. Dishes pile in sink and I love you’s are forgotten. Like the heat wave it brought, July lit the fire of testing over our life.

My natural reaction is to clench fists, harden heart, put up walls. But I don’t want to be the woman who only holds on to praise in the good times. In the times that everything is fulfilled. I don’t want to be the woman who only releases clenched fists when I can see the road ahead.

We stood in church on Sunday, and though I remembered what I thought I lacked, though for a moment I allowed myself to feel the lie of being deeply alone in this, I closed my eyes and heard His gospel. Eyes closed with unclenched fists, He invaded broken heart and He took the pieces and held them close. He saw who I really was on Sunday, passed fake smiles and clammy hands in fear that they might see what I’m really feeling. Passed the wall and the bitterness and the way I lost my temper the night before. The way I couldn’t comfort the sad eyes of my husband for a moment.

I close my eyes and the gospel sings and wraps me close. Reminds me that I don’t have to be the clenched fist woman when the testing arises. When July brings heat and death and the unfulfilled. Gospel sings and Father comforts and Jesus brings the joy that is mine. So like a thief I quickly consume it all. Hurting heart that slowly mends in gospel.

I write down desires and plans with Father and I trust Him with hope in heart. And today my devotions said to take it slow, as if He knows. He knows. So we take it slow, say a prayer, walk our dogs down the quiet road. We laugh because love is sweet like He said it would be. Like He promised it could be. Fulfilled. And death doesn’t sting in the morning. Memory is good in the morning. I swear we ran into every elderly man in town this morning. Conversation like we are old friends. It’s August and it’s slow and we remember who we are. We believe in who we are. In the One who slowed down life, at least for this morning.

Birds sing, flowers bloom, coffee brews, pups snooze. We begin again. All is well in the land of milk and honey this morning.

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Cycle of Feeling

I’ve felt the seeds planted. I’ve watched it take root and I saw it begin to sprout, it aches within me. Do I deserve to ache? I’ve never felt the kick. I’ve never seen the heart beat. She turned the screen from my face. Never experienced the getting ready for. The blues and pinks. Like the other mothers have. I chose to leave it. So like a weed I uproot it. Like a weed in my flower bed I tear it out and throw it away – far away. Because I don’t want to deal, with truth. With pain. With reality. Like a weed so deep I continue to pull. But my soul can’t forget. The could have beens. My soul can’t forget small life and I reach for the paper with that signature. It’s mine but unfamiliar. It signed over goodbye but the me now yearns for the other road. Yearns for the early mornings and the tired eyes. The voice that would call me mamma and the small hand to hold. And though I forgive the younger me, the liar reminds me. Little life gone. Because he said I’d be better off. he said the world would be better off. he slipped in during the night, in the quiet, and he said this isn’t life. he said he would let it go but he hasn’t let it go. he still slips in during the night at times and reminds me. But I’ve seen the Light. It outshines the night. And I refuse to begrudge this life. I refuse to let the weeds take over. It hurts but it won’t separate. I won’t let the hurt of little life gone separate me from the Healer. From Creator. From the One who created the little imprint in my soul in the first place, I will worship Him. The giver of life. Of light. Of healing. Of wholeness. Despite the rawness. Of goneness. Of pain. Despite the yearning, and wanting. Despite the plans that go unfulfilled. The lullabies unsung. In these moments the liar would feel accomplished for us to stay sulking. For us to stay living with this burden, with this pain. But whatever darkness we encounter, we can choose to look for the light and follow it. And I run. I sprint into the arms of the Hero. I fall into the carrier of the cross. Of my mistakes and regrets. Of my loss. The strong arms of the one who is. It’s done. It’s Heaven. It’s more than I can describe but it’s freedom. And I can rest. I can breathe. I can trust. I can cry but believe that the tears will be wiped away by Jesus. Like a cycle. Then comes mourning. Then comes healing. Then comes hope. Then comes morning. Always comes morning.

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